We've waited four preseason and eight regular-season games to hear this, but it finally came Friday: safety Madieu Williams
will start for the Vikings Sunday.
Brad Childress made the announcement that he expects Williams to be in the starting lineup Sunday when the Vikings meet the Houston Texans
at the Metrodome. Williams has been out since the first week of practice during the preseason. Williams participated fully in his first practice since the injury Friday and has been cleared to make his first start.
While Williams will get the start, there will be some questions as to how long he will play. Having not played a game and making it through just one practice with full participation, Williams will likely be spelled at times by rookie Tyrell Johnson
, who has started the first seven games while Williams has been sidelined.
When the Vikings initially signed Williams, the intention was to have a quality veteran starter opposite Darren Sharper
. After nearly three months of delays, the moment will finally come Sunday.
Adrian Peterson and Steve Hutchinson were named to the mid-season NFL All-Pro Team by The Sporting News. Kevin Williams didn't make the team at defensive tackle, but that likely was because TSN opted to go with a 3-4 defense when naming its team, making Albert Haynesworth of Tennessee the only DT on the team.
On the subject of A.D., his jersey sales are No. 2 in the NFL season behind only Brett Favre. He likely would have been No. 1 in sales, but Favre jerseys have been moving briskly since his trade to the New York Jets this summer.
The final injury reports were released Friday and, for the second straight game, David Herron is listed as out with a hip injury. Others on the injury report include TE Garrett Mills, who was limited in participation in practice all week and is listed as questionable. The three other Vikings listed on the injury report – Williams (neck), WR Sidney Rice (ankle) and DE Ray Edwards (knee), all took part fully in Friday's practice, are listed as probable and are expected to start Sunday.
On the Texans side of the injury report, wide receiver Andre Davis has missed all week of practice with a finger injury and is listed as out. Two other players – RB Ahman Green (thigh) and LB Zac Diles (hamstring) are listed as questionable. Diles was added to the injury report on Friday. Wide receiver Kevin Walter (knee) and safety Dominique Barber (hamstring) had full participation the last two practices and are listed as probable.
The price of being a quarterback just went up. The Packers signed Aaron Rodgers to a six-year deal Friday that is worth $65 million, including $20 million in guaranteed money. The agreement was negotiated during the Packers bye week and Rodgers said he was surprised how quickly the deal was struck and how his bank account suddenly got markedly larger.
The Vikings don't play the Cardinals until the end of the season, but there may be a different face in the backfield for Arizona when they host the Vikings in Week 16. Youngster Tim Hightower has supplanted veteran Edgerrin James in goal-line situations, but this week in practice he has been taking snaps with the regular first-team offense as well. The Vikings, you may recall, opted not to get into a bidding war for James when he became a free agent three years ago, opting instead to pay about half the price for a Chester Taylor – a deal nobody at Winter Park regrets.
Mike Singletary is upset that someone leaked the information that, as part of his attempt to motivate the 49ers during a halftime speech, he dropped his pants. What he should be asking is who would keep that information to himself.
The Vikings have waited a long time to get a return on their investment in safety Madieu Williams, but he is finally expected to start on Sunday, becoming the third Williams starting on defense.
The Vikings have waited a long time to get a return on their investment in safety Madieu Williams.