Judge Rules In Favor of NFL Over Vikings D Linemen

Stephen KasperCorrespondent IMay 6, 2010

DETROIT - DECEMBER 07:  (L-R) Kevin Williams #93 and Pat Williams #94 of the Minnesota Vikings watch from the sidelines during the NFL game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 7, 2008 in Detroit, Michigan.  The Vikings defeated the Lions 20-16. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

My, oh my how things may be different for the Minnesota Vikings this year.


If Brett Favre chooses to retire, the Vikings will have to not only be forced to rely on Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback, but they may also have to play without starting defensive tackles, Kevin and Pat Williams.


A Minnesota judge ruled in favor of the NFL in the case against the Vikings defensive linemen.


Kevin Williams and Pat Williams were initially suspended in 2008 for violating the NFL’s banned substance policy. The two appealed the suspension and after two long years, they may finally have to serve their four game suspensions.


The defensive tackles, who are not related, claimed they didn’t know the banned substance diuretic Bumetanide was an ingredient in the substance they were taking.


They admitted to taking StarCaps while trying to make weight, however denied all allegations of knowingly taking steroids.


What does this mean for the Minnesota Vikings?


Allow me to introduce you to Fred Evans and Jimmy Kennedy.


Although these guys aren’t completely new to the team, they obviously aren’t the starters and definitely aren’t Kevin or Pat Williams.


Still, even though they haven't been suspended just yet, it looks like these guys might be the starters for the first five weeks of the season. I say five just because Minnesota has an early bye in week four.


The Vikings start the season playing New Orleans, Miami, Detroit and the New York Jets.


Minus the Detroit game they could really be hurting without the big Williams men on the line.


Throw the possibility of Brett Favre retiring, and Minnesota may have one tough season.


Minnesota definitely has the tools to make the playoffs and even win the Super Bowl, but they will need both Kevin and Pat up front to anchor that defensive line. And with Ray Edwards possibly done in Minnesota as well, Jared Allen can’t do it by himself.


Sure they picked up Everson Griffen in the draft, which is great. But there is no doubt without Kevin and Pat, Minnesota’s defense will be lacking in the middle.


The good news about all this is the suspensions aren’t certain just yet.


The drug tests conducted in 2008 are not official just yet and you can bet Williams and Williams will be doing everything they can to fight the suspensions.


And if they do?


The court will be forced to at least hear the case which could at the worst postpone the suspensions for the big men. However after two seasons of fighting it, I get the feeling the big men won’t give up on this thing until they get their names cleared completely.