Notebook: Injury bug biting hard for Vikings
Kevin Williams (Joe Robbins/Getty)
Kevin Williams (Joe Robbins/Getty)
VikingUpdate.com
Posted Aug 22, 2011
Tim Yotter


The Vikings lost an offensive lineman for the season and await word on the severity of Kevin Williams’ foot injury. But it wasn’t all bad news at Winter Park, as a few offensive playmakers returned to action.

The Vikings had a number of players return to practice Monday, but one significant one was sitting out with a foot injury.

Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kevin Williams was scheduled to see a foot specialist Monday after being unable to sufficiently push off during Saturday’s second preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Williams’ foot has been bothering him since the start of training camp, but this is the first time he sat out a practice this year. The six-time Pro Bowler was held out Monday’s one-hour afternoon session and was scheduled to see a foot specialist later in the day.

“We’re going to see what the doctors have to say about that. He’s going to visit a foot specialist to see where things are with him,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. “We really need him to come along. He really struggled in the snaps that he had on Saturday with his foot.

“The fact that he was in pain and has trouble pushing off lets us know that it’s more serious than we may have thought originally, so we wanted to go ahead and have a foot specialist take a look at it.”

Williams hasn't missed a game since 2005, when he missed two games in December with a knee injury. Those were the only two games he has missed in his eight-year NFL career.

The Vikings are already without half of their so-called “Williams Wall,” as they elected not to re-sign nose tackle Pat Williams and instead signed former New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Remi Ayodele to take Pat’s place in the starting lineup.

Kevin also faces a potential four-game suspension after testing positive for the banned diuretic Bumetanide that was laced in the dietary pill StarCaps. He tested positive in training camp in 2008 and the suspension was handed down during the 2008 season, but he had appealed the ruling, citing Minnesota labor laws until eventually deciding this year to accept the NFL punishment after a legal battle that lasted 2½ years. However, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail to Viking Update on Friday that there was “nothing to report” on Williams’ potential suspension and Frazier said Monday he still hasn’t heard anything from NFL either.

“That’s alright with me. I don’t want to hear anything,” Frazier said with smile.

KOOISTRA TO INJURED RESERVE

The offensive line is losing guard/tackle Scott Kooistra for the season with a “very significant” neck injury, according to Frazier.

Frazier said Kooistra was still in Seattle on Monday afternoon for evaluation, but his season is done after being placed on injured reserve.

“It was a play where he was pulling and just really got his neck jammed. He came to the sideline and was in pain. Really couldn’t move left to right,” Frazier said. “In the process of evaluation post-game, they just told us it was a very significant neck injury. We’re going to probably lose him for quite a while. He’s still in Seattle and going through the evaluation process.”

Frazier said Kooistra is walking, but Frazier wasn’t sure if the offensive lineman’s career would be impacted beyond this season.

Kooistra, who was signed as free agent after the lockout ended, started in place of the injured Anthony Herrera at right guard on Saturday.

With Kooistra on injured reserve and Williams hurting, the Vikings signed defensive lineman Stylez White, who was with the Tampa Bay Bucs. They later agreed to terms with rookie running back Caleb King (Georgia), who went undrafted in Monday’s supplemental draft.

Also sitting out Monday’s practice were RB Toby Gerhart (ankle/Achilles), FB Matt Asiata (hip flexor), LBs Ross Homan (concussion) and Mark Washington (stinger), and S Simeon Castille (hamstring).

HARVIN, SHIANCOE, OTHERS RETURN

With all the other injury news, the Vikings did see the return of some of their offensive playmakers to Monday’s practice, including WR Percy Harvin and TE Visanthe Shiancoe. Harvin was returning from a rib injury that held him out of Saturday’s second preseason game and Shiancoe hasn’t played yet this preseason because of a training-camp hamstring injury.

The Vikings also got WR Greg Camarillo back on the practice field after sitting out much of last week with a groin injury.

The return of those three could help the continuity and explosiveness of the offense.

“I think it will be great for us, just to develop some continuity,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. “They’ve had some moments in practice when they’ve all been together but to finally get them all together in the game when we have our full complement, that’s a good thing for our football team.”

The defense also saw the return of linebackers Heath Farwell and Kenny Onatolu for Monday’s practice.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.




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