Vikings' Kevin Williams returns from suspension, plans to play Sunday
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams said Monday that after watching his team fall to 0-2 while serving an NFL suspension that he definitely will play Sunday against the Detroit Lions at the Metrodome.
Williams, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, was dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot when the NFL suspended him on Sept. 2 for the first two games of the season for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances.
"Sitting at home two weeks was bad enough," Williams said after getting treatment on his foot. "The foot ain't going to stop me. ... I won't say I'm a full 100 percent, but I'm probably as close as I'm going to get at this time of the year. We'll just evaluate it week to week and hopefully it holds up."
Williams had to work out on his own at a local health club and also set up his own treatment during the suspension. He watched from the couch at his home in the Twin Cities as the Vikings blew a 17-7 lead in the first half on Sept. 11 at San Diego and a 17-0 lead on Sunday in their home opener against Tampa Bay.
"Between my son scoring touchdowns on the ground with his Vikings stuff. He had a great first half like we did," said Williams, who had missed only two games in his eight-year NFL career before this season. "He didn't get that many in the second half. It was kind of tough, though. Watching it, how it unfolded in the end, I think we gave two games away. In this league we can't afford to do that. We've got to get it going this week."
Williams attempted not to wonder what type of difference he could have made on the field because, "We had the best guys out there, doing all they could do." Letroy Guion started in Williams' place.
So what stood out to Williams in the defeats?
"Just execution," he said. "I think some different things could have been done differently. Mainly, we didn't execute in the second half. Both sides (of the ball). ... Some of the stuff we messed up on was just base stuff. We've got the talent, it's just executing the right call."
While Williams is eligible to play with his 2008 StarCaps case now resolved after a lengthy legal fight, his pocketbook will continue to be impacted by the NFL's decision.
The league reduced his suspension from four games to two, but he won't be paid for Sunday's game or the Oct. 2 game at Kansas City.
"I try not to think about it anymore," said Williams, who did not hide his feelings about the situation when the NFL first announced its action. "It's become a numb feeling that I'll be out there for two weeks without pay. You all can take a pot if you like and I'll be more than happy to take it."
Williams said he and his representatives did approach the NFL about his loss of pay being based on his 2008 salary - when the suspension initially was handed down - and not his 2011 salary.
Williams will lose $1,411,764 for the four game checks. That's 4/17ths of his $6 million base salary for 2011 and doesn't include the legal fees he has to pay. In 2008, his base salary was $1 million, so that means he will end up paying six times as much as he would have in that season.
"I think they shot us down," Williams said of what happened when they went to the league.