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Updated: May 6th, 2010 10:30am
Judge rules Williamses must serve suspensions in StarCaps case

Judge rules Williamses must serve suspensions in StarCaps case

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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We might be on the verge of a resolution in the StarCaps case.

But it's not over yet.

Hennepin County Judge Gary Larson today ruled Minnesota Vikings defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams must serve the four-game suspensions the NFL handed down in 2008 for testing positive for a banned diuretic, despite the league's violation of state labor laws.

The Williamses sued in 2008 to keep the NFL from enforcing the suspensions, and the case has been tied up in the courts ever since.

They were granted a court hearing for 2 p.m. today in which they're expected to ask Larson to keep in place a restraining order that allows them to play while their appeals continue. UPDATE, 3:39 p.m.: Per the Star Tribune, Larson asked both sides to submit briefs next week and will rule on the restraining order later.

From a football perspective, a four-game ban to start the 2010 season for two Pro Bowl performers would be a significant blow to the Vikings, who likely would start Fred Evans and Jimmy Kennedy in their places.

Scouts regard Evans and Kennedy as quality rotational players. However, they're fringe players as starters and depth would be thin behind them. The Vikings didn't draft any interior defensive linemen, and none of the 16 undrafted rookies they've signed play the position either.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
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