Kevin Williams (Alissa Foreman/Viking Update)
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier confirmed that Kevin Williams has plantar fasciitis and will miss the rest of the preseason, but Frazier is optimistic Williams will be healthy enough to play by the start of the regular season.
Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams will be held out for the final two preseason games with plantar fasciitis, head coach Leslie Frazier said.
“I think he’s going to be alright. We’re going to give him a few days and he should be alright,” Frazier said.
“From everything they tell me, we’ve got to rest him and he should be fine for the season. That’s where I’m crossing my fingers.”
Frazier said rest is about the only thing that will heal plantar fasciitis.
“You can wear some orthotics, but even if you wear those and play, you still have some plantar fasciitis. It’s got to take time to heal itself,” Frazier said.
Williams, a six-time Pro Bowler, hasn’t missed a game since the 2005 season, when he missed two games with a knee injury.
Williams could also face a suspension for testing positive for the banned diuretic Bumetanide, which was laced in the dietary supplement StarCaps, back in 2008. That suspension has been appealed and hung up in court cases for more than two years, but the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Tuesday that the NFL and its players association are still negotiating a new drug policy as part of the new collective bargaining agreement. As such, the four-game suspension could be reduced to two games under a two-tiered discipline structure that is being discussed.
SURGERY BEING CONSIDERED FOR KOOISTRA
Offensive lineman Scott Kooistra, who was battling for the starting spot at right guard, remains in a Seattle hospital after suffering a neck injury in the second quarter of Saturday’s game.
“He’s still out in Seattle and not sure what they’re going to do, whether it will be surgery or not surgery. We’re waiting to find that out,” Frazier said Tuesday.
Kooistra was placed on injured reserve Monday, ending his first season as a Viking before it ever really got started. He made the start in Saturday’s game and had been playing well, according to offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave.
“He really has had a fantastic camp. He brings the element of toughness to our team that we very much desire,” Musgrave said.
The first-team offense has played four series but hasn’t scored a touchdown yet. Musgrave said there are a few keys to make sure that turns around.
“I think sustaining what you get going. We seem to be able to get some drives started and doing a good job of not going three-and-out, but we’ve got to do a better job of eliminating, number one, penalties, and, number two, some mental busts that happen when you get fatigued,” Musgrave said. “And then ultimately some turnovers that have taken place, both in the Tennessee game and the Seattle game. We’ve been moving the ball and we approach the 50 or cross the 50, and then we lose our focus on ball security. I believe once we get more in football shape we’ll be able to sustain those 10-, 12-, 14-play drives and end up in paydirt.”
New roster additions Stylez G. White, a veteran defensive end, and Caleb King, a rookie running back, were both practicing on Tueday. “You could tell that [King] had fresh legs. He was moving quicker than the rest of us who have been in camp mode,” Musgrave said. “We’re glad to have him and I’m sure we’ll try to get him indoctrinated as fast as we can.”
In addition to Kevin Williams, others sidelined for Tuesday’s practice with injuries were CB Asher Allen (toe), RB Toby Gerhart (ankle/Achilles), FB Matt Asiata (hip flexor), LB Ross Homan (concussion), LB Mark Washington (shoulder).
Musgrave said the team hasn’t established a rotation for the quarterbacks in Saturday’s third preseason game.
Musgrave said guard Anthony Herrera is “looking forward to getting back out there on the field” Saturday. Herrera continues to decline interview requests during his comeback from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He has been splitting duties with Ryan Cook at right guard this week.
Defensive coordinator Fred Pagac said he plans a liberal rotation of his defensive linemen during the regular season and said defensive tackle Letroy Guion “lit it up” during the second-team defensive line’s goal-line stand against Seattle’s first-team offense.
Pagac expects to play the first-team defense at least one half, or about 20 to 25 plays, against Dallas on Saturday. He said the defenders are in pretty good condition at this point in the preseason.
Jamarca Sanford and Tyrell Johnson are still considered even for the starting strong safety spot, according to Pagac. Sanford started the preseason opener and should start against Dallas on Saturday. Johnson started against Seattle. “They have an even number of snaps and will continue to do so for the next two games,” Pagac said.
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