Williamses case: Victory or delay of game?

The appealed suspensions of Vikings defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams continues to drag on … and in two separate court systems. Did they register a victory on Thursday or just delay an eventual ruling? Even after one step is decided, it seems nothing is clear or final in this case.

While the ruling yesterday that blocked the suspensions of Pat Williams and Kevin Williams is being viewed by many as a victory for the Williams Wall, it would appear that it is merely a postponement, not a legal victory.

The Williamses and the NFL are scheduled to be in state court July 22 to hear a motion from the league to postpone the state case while a separate federal court appeal is being heard. While attorney Peter Ginsberg, who represents the Williamses, said he would like to see the court case resolved prior to the start of the season, in his ruling, Hennepin County District Judge Gary Larson ruled that the players would "suffer a significant loss of playing time" if forced to sit during the appeals process – leading some to speculate that the case could drag on well into the fall.

In June, federal judge Paul Magnuson ruled against the players association in dismissing the case filed by the NFLPA on behalf of the Williamses and three members of the New Orleans Saints. Both the players association and the NFL appealed portions of Magnuson's ruling. That appeal is expected to be heard sometime in August. If the state case is delayed until after that ruling is rendered, it would clearly seem to drag on into September, when the Vikings open the regular season.

In addition to blocking the suspensions, Larson ruled that the NFL can't increase the number of drug tests it administers to the players during the court process. Kevin Williams argued that he and Pat have been targeted by the league and forced to take numerous random drug tests.

The ruling doesn't do much to change the landscape over the next couple of months. Even if the Williamses were forced to sit out the four games mandated by the NFL, it wouldn't come until the start of the regular season. The two will be able to participate in training camp and the preseason regardless of the status of their suspensions.

FRIDAY NOTES

  • The Vikings were not one of 16-18 teams listed to watch Kentucky DE Jeremy Jarmon work out for scouts Thursday. Jarmon is expected to be the plum of the league's annual supplemental draft, which will take place via e-mail next week.

  • Adrian Peterson was at Winter Park this week for a photo shoot and said he currently weighs 218 pounds and he wants to add another five pounds before the season starts.

  • Rumors printed in the Pioneer Press claim the Vikings are tailoring a good percentage of their playbook to the strengths of Brett Favre, who many believe will be signed and delivered by late next week.


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