Even With the Williams' Potential Suspensions, Minnesota Vikings Will Be Fine

Andy RAnalyst IMay 9, 2010

DETROIT - DECEMBER 07:  (L-R) Kevin Williams #93 and Pat Williams #94 of the Minnesoa Vikings in action 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

It's only been a couple of days since word spread that the Pat and Kevin Williams will potentially be suspended for taking an illegal substance, Bumetanide, that was in the drug, Starcaps.

While this is a big blow to the defensive line, the Purple People Eaters will do just fine with the depth they have.

Pat Williams is in all likelihood entering his final NFL season. Age has shown its ugly color for Pat. He struggled last season and clearly wasn't the same dominating defensive tackle he once was.

He didn't play as much and came out frequently for passing situations. Who was usually the player to take his spot? That would be Jimmy Kennedy.

Kennedy was drafted in the first-round of the 2003 NFL Draft, just three spots behind the other Vikings' defensive tackle, Kevin Williams.

While Kennedy has been around the league including stops at St. Louis, Jacksonville, and Chicago, he found his true home in Minnesota where he enjoyed success in 2009.

He showed that he can rush the passer when needed and also stuff the run. He re-signed with Minnesota this offseason after visiting a couple of teams.

In the end, he stayed with Minnesota for less money than he was offered in Buffalo. That shows his commitment to the team and will do everything in his power to make this team the best it can be, with or without the Williamses.

Who would take the other defensive tackle spot? The first two options would be Fred Evans and Letroy Guion.

Fred Evans has had some problems in his past, but when it comes time to play football, the guy shows up and plays hard every down. He's not a pass rushing threat, but is not easy to move once his feet are under him. That's just what the Vikings need for their rush defense.

Letroy Guion was drafted by the Vikings in 2008 in the fifth-round after leaving college very early. He has potential to be good, but playing behind two great and another solid defensive tackle has limited his playing time.

Jimmy Kennedy has a starting spot nailed down if a suspension is headed the Williams' way. The other stop remains to be seen.

No one can replace Kevin Williams. That seems to be the main key here. Pat can be replaced by Jimmy Kennedy, but filling Kevin's shoes will take a miracle.

Is it time to panic yet, though? Not at all.

Remember, the Vikings still have the best defensive end in all of football in Jared Allen and a guy who loves to stuff the run in Ray Edwards. Not to mention, the Vikings have Brian Robison as a backup and drafted a first-round prospect in the fourth-round just a few weeks ago in Everson Griffen.

Just because the Vikings may be without the Williams' for the first four games of the regular season doesn't mean that the Vikings are suddenly a second-tier team. The Vikings are a solid team with or without their tackle tandem.

The offense will score points and keep us in games, unless Favre retires. Then we can start worrying...


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