NFL.com is reporting that a federal judge has dismissed most of the claims made by Minnesota Vikings defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams over their positive test for a banned diuretic. While it’s not guaranteed, it’s likely that they’ll wind up facing a four-game suspension that they had appealed at the end of last season.
Unfortunately for the rest of the NFC North, the Vikings and the Williamses got what they had hoped for — at the very least — which is that they did not have to miss the end of the 2008 campaign and were able to play in the Vikings’ playoff game. I’m not a big fan of the appeals process in the NFL, or any professional sports league for that matter, because players can take advantage of it and basically pick and choose when they’ll serve their suspension. You may recall the Jaguars’ Matt Jones avoided a suspension much of last season while appealing it until he finally succumbed.
What’s a four-game suspension at the beginning of the season mean to the Vikings? Nothing, really. So, their defense might struggle a little in September, but they face Cleveland, Detroit, and San Francisco to open the season followed by a home game against the Packers.