Williams Wall case proceeds to limp along

The case of the NFL against Pat and Kevin Williams involving their use of StarCaps continued to make progress, albeit slow, in the appellate process.

The next court date for the case involving Pat Williams and Kevin Williams in Hennepin County District Court has received a trial date and it isn't what the NFL wants.

The trial date was set for March 8, 2010 in the courtroom of Judge Gary Larson. The Williamses are contesting their four-game suspension imposed by the league last November for testing positive for the banned substance bumetanide – an ingredient not on the label of the supplement StarCaps.

The NFL opposed the decision, which brings its drug testing policy into question and had asked that all judges in the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals hear the case. Previously a three-judge panel in the court of appeals voted unanimously that the point of law in question belonged in state court.

The next pre-trial hearing is set for 7:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 26 in Larson's court. The hearing will involve a request for protection, which would seal part of the case. A pre-trial settlement conference was also set for March 1, 2010, but, at this point, it doesn't appear as if either side is willing to accept a settlement agreement.

TUESDAY NOTES

  • Peter King, a columnist for Sports Illustrated, has put the Vikings at the top of his team-by-team rankings, vaulting them past the New York Giants. The shift begs the question, "What did the Giants have to do to maintain their ranking at No. 1?" They beat Oakland 44-7 in a beatdown typically seen in non-conference college games. King's rankings have the Vikings first, followed by the Giants, Saints, Colts and Broncos.

  • Head coach Brad Childress said Monday that he expects right tackle Phil Loadholt to return to practice Wednesday. Loadholt, who missed Sunday's game with a sprained ankle, was on the sideline in a walking boot.

  • The NFL Films DVD "All Day With Adrian Peterson," which chronicles the life and career of the Vikings running back, goes on sale today.

  • The St. Louis Rams placed defensive tackle Gary Gibson on injured reserve. The Vikings will likely find out Friday if Artis Hicks, who delivered a shot to Gibson while he was engaged with guard Anthony Herrera, will be fined for the hit. The TV analysts covering the game for FOX claimed the hit was a "cheap shot" that didn't have to be delivered.

  • Speaking of injuries that happened during games with the Vikings, Packers cornerback Will Blackmon, who suffered a knee injury returning a punt a week ago Monday for the Packers at the Metrodome, was placed on injured reserve Monday – ending his 2009 season.

  • In place of Blackmon on the roster, the Packers re-signed veteran offensive tackle Mark Tauscher.


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