In an interview with ESPN.com Monday, Commissioner Roger Goodell said he is confident that the suspensions handed down to Pat Williams and Kevin Williams that are currently under appeal will hold up in court.
“We believe there’s no question about it from the standpoint of when you look at the facts,” Goodell said in the interview. “It’s a collectively bargained program. We have an independent administrator. We believe that we’re certainly within our rights. It’s fair and it’s consistent within that policy. The players understand (they) are held accountable for anything that’s in (their) body.”
Goodell went on to say that the players were fully aware, despite the StarCaps label not listing any banned substances, that such products are not regulated and that, in the end, whatever supplements a player takes he takes at his own risk.
“The core issue of our policy is very clear to every player that you are responsible for what’s in your body,” Goodell said. “We have been very clear. If you take supplements, which is an unregulated industry, there’s a danger that there are things in a supplement that aren’t on the label that are against our policy, so you’re taking a risk.”
The Williamses case remains in federal court in St. Paul with a temporary restraining order. If the judge sides with the NFL this week, both of the Williamses will be suspended for four games effective immediately – the final three games of the 2008 regular season and, if the Vikings win the NFC North, the first round of the playoffs. The process could drag on longer than that.
Safety Darren Sharper, the Vikings’ player rep for the NFL Players Association, took a divergent opinion from Goodell on Monday.
“You're not supposed to assume, but I'm assuming we're going to have them each and every week unless I hear something differently. So that's the attitude everyone in the locker room has, that we're going to have them for each game until we're told differently,” Sharper said of the Williamses’ case.
“I just haven't heard anything differently, so I'm thinking that we're going to have them. It just could be positive thinking, but I've thought that from the first time I heard about it. I just thought that they're going to be out there playing with us. Just the attitude I think everyone in the locker room has about that situation.”
With 246 more yards rushing in the final three games, Adrian Peterson will become just the fifth running back in NFL history to top 3,000 yards in his first two years, joining Eric Dickerson (3,913), Edgerrin James (3,262), Earl Campbell (3,147) and Clinton Portis (3,099).
Sunday’s win over Detroit was big in one respect – it was the first time in 11 years that the Vikings have come from behind in the fourth quarter to win on the road. The last time they did was 1997 against Arizona, a span of 40 games.
Visanthe Shiancoe’s naked moment that aired on FOX is now making the rounds on the Internet. At least a couple of web sites are showing freeze frames of the post-game video in which Zygi Wilf is giving Brad Childress a game ball and Shiancoe can be seen naked behind him. This may bring an end to the process of letting a single national TV camera into the Vikings locker room while the rest of the media is forced to remain outside.
In a radio interview with Vikings flagship KFAN Monday, Jared Allen said his initial reaction when he took a helmet to the knee from Lions offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus was that his season was over. Childress said he had not spoken with Allen Monday and he will be evaluated when the team returns to practice Wednesday.
Word out of New Orleans is that Judge Paul Magnuson, who is overseeing the blocked suspension case, has a trial that began Monday and isn’t expected to make any decision on the Williamses’ issue until Friday at the earliest. As a result, the Saints will have their players available this week, since they play Chicago on Thursday night.