Pat Williams: ‘I'm coming back'

Pro Bowl nose tackle Pat Williams worked himself into a lather watching the last two Vikings games without being able to play because of a fractured scapula. He's looking to return next week against the Philadelphia Eagles. See what he had to say about the injury and watching in agony the last two weeks.

After spending last week's game at home and admittedly ready to break his television set while watching his teammates fumble the ball seven times and lose to the Atlanta Falcons, injured nose tackle Pat Williams was on the sidelines for the Vikings' home finale Sunday.

He was cheering on his teammates, coaching them when needed and watching them pull out a 20-19 win over the New York Giants with a 50-yard field goal with no time remaining to earn a playoff spot.

By the time Williams' day was done, he was sweating enough that he needed a shower despite being inactive.

And now, after two weeks on the sidelines with a broken scapula, Williams is hoping he's ready to make his return to game action next weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles.

"I'm confident I'm coming back," he said.

Williams said he would be at the Vikings' Winter Park practice facility twice each of the next two days getting treatment for the shoulder. He said it isn't a matter of pain anymore; he just needs to regain strength in the shoulder.

"I'm sure he's going to go through an examination tomorrow, and he's been in treatment," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "We'll just see his status as he goes. I know he's happy. He's been in the league 12 years. For him and Antoine Winfield, 10 years, that's their first division title. He's excited about it. He'll do everything that he can to come back. But I don't know where the bone is on the map."

Both the Falcons and Giants seemed determined to exploit the absence of the big lug in the middle of the defense. The Giants ran the ball 30 times for 135 yards on Sunday.

"It's eating at me," Williams said. "I hate people running the ball. I hate that. That's what I strive for, stopping the run. That's my game. Let the other guys take care of the pass, the sacks. I rough up their running backs."

Williams believes his return to the lineup, whenever that is, will shore up the Vikings' chances in the playoffs.

"They need me because in the playoffs if you can't run the ball, you can't win," he said.

His teammates are certainly hopeful they'll see the return of their Pro Bowl nose tackle.

"He's a big rock in the middle of that defense for us," Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen said. " … Having Pat back will be huge. He's huge. Uncharacteristically, we gave up some big runs today, but you look back and we had chances to stop them. We missed tackles. It's as simple as that. You can't miss tackles, and we have one at home, but especially when you go on the road. When the weather is cold you have to tackle the runner. So having Pat hopefully coming back this week will be amazing."

It will probably also be good for the electronics in Williams' home if the Vikings have to go back on the road later in the postseason.

"Last week I about busted my TV," he said. "This week I about pulled my hair out on the sideline. I said, ‘I should have stayed home and watched this game too.' I'm going crazy."

While Allen took some pain-killing injections to play through a shoulder injury earlier this year, Williams said that won't be necessary for him.

"I ain't taking no damn injections," he said. "I just have to get my arm strong. That's my only problem. Just get it back strong. I'm not worried about a cracked bone."




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