Kevin Williams eager to rejoin slumping Vikings
EDEN PRAIRIE (AP) -- Kevin Williams can't wait to get out on to the field with his Minnesota Vikings teammates for the first time this season after missing the first two games because of a suspension.
He's a little less excited about playing the next two games for free.
Williams fought a long court battle over a positive test for a banned diuretic three years ago. The fight ended in the offseason, and the league decided to change his suspension from four games to two. But it also fined him two additional game checks. That means he will play against the Lions and Chiefs without getting paid.
"I try not to think about it anymore," Williams said on Monday, his first day back at team headquarters since his suspension kicked in before the season started. "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 was joking with that dry humor of his, but it's clear this whole ordeal has been a trying situation for him. He and former teammate Pat Williams were suspended in 2008 after testing positive for a diuretic that was banned by the league. The supplement they were taking, StarCaps, did not list it on the ingredient label, so they fought the test along with Saints defensive linemen Will Smith and Charles Grant.
The court case dragged on for three years, finally coming to a close in the offseason. Williams was pleased to see his suspension reduced, but scratching his head over the decision to fine him an additional two game checks.
He was hoping the league would fine him based on his salary in 2008, when he tested positive, as opposed to this season. He made $1 million in base salary in 2008 and $6 million this year. That means he will be fined about $1.4 million.
"I'm not going to fight it anymore," he said. "I don't know. I mean, I can't even say fighting it. I think they shot it down off the top. It's really nothing to talk about."
Williams did say the two weeks off helped the plantar fasciitis in his left foot. He said it hasn't fully healed, but promised to be on the field on Sunday against the Lions (2-0).
"Sitting at home two weeks was bad enough," Williams said. "The foot (isn'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."