Minnesota Vikings defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams will be able to play in the season-opener at Cleveland this weekend, regardless of what happens with their court case against the NFL.
The Williamses are challenging four-game suspensions handed down by the league for violating the league’s drug policy last summer.
As most of our readers here on Vikings Gab are aware of, this case is still tied up in court, and while neither player is accused of taking steroids, they do acknowledge taking the over-the-counter weight-loss supplement StarCaps. The case gets dicey in that the supplement did not list on the label that it contained the prescription diuretic bumetanide, which is banned by the NFL because it can mask the presence of steroids.
The NFL, the players and the NFL Players Association are all challenging parts of a federal judge’s ruling last May that dismissed some of the players’ claims against the league, but allowed others to go forward in state court in Minnesota.
Those proceedings, in Hennepin County District Court, are on hold and an injunction against the suspensions remains in place until the federal appeals are resolved by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The 8th Circuit heard oral arguments Aug. 18 and would have to rule this week if wants to do so before the regular season begins.
The NFL had wanted to enforce the suspensions for the first four games, but Aiello said that won’t happen at least with the season-opener.
“The NFL actually has no choice,” said Peter Ginsberg, an attorney for the Williamses. “A Minnesota court has enjoined the NFL from suspending Kevin and Pat while we await a decision from the 8th Circuit.”