Kevin Williams misses practice again, playing chances decreasing
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams hasn't thrown on pads and practiced since the Aug. 25 hyperextension and bone contusion to his knee after San Francisco 49ers guard Joe Looney threw an unexpected low block when Williams wasn't looking.
Coach Leslie Frazier said Williams had no ligament damage, which bodes well for the long run, but the veteran added another missed practice to the list on Thursday.
On Sunday, the Vikings open up the regular season at the Detroit Lions and it seems even more unlikely that Williams plays.
"Kevin Williams didn't participate today, we'll see if we can get him anything tomorrow, we're hoping we can," Frazier said. "He is making improvements. [Friday] will be a big day to determine if we have a chance to get him ready for Sunday."
Even if Williams can get on the practice field Friday, there seems to be no reason to risk further injury by throwing the 33-year old out into the game when you can give him another week off to rehab and regain his strength.
In the event that Williams can't go, the Vikings will deploy a combination of defensive tackles like rookie Sharrif Floyd, Chase Baker and even Letroy Guion, who once played undertackle and recently switched to nose tackle.
Floyd is also rehabbing from a knee injury, one he's battled since the preseason opener on Aug. 9. The scary part about Floyd's injury is that it's reccuring. Floyd returned to play in the second preseason game, but suddenly needed surgery, an operation the Vikings called a 'minor procedure,' in the week after to clear pain from the front of his knee.
"[Floyd] has done well, practiced well" Frazier said. "Doesn't look like any ill effects from his injury. Full speed ahead."
The Vikings may need Floyd at full speed if Williams can't play, but they're holding out until Friday to make that determination.
"You don't have to see as much from Kevin [Williams] as you would some other guys because of his experience," Frazier said. "Still there are certain things you want to make sure he's able to do to protect himself."
Protecting Williams will likely mean not playing him on Sunday.