This damn StarCaps situation has finally reared its ugly head. For the first time in 6 years, the Williams Wall will not have any resemblance when the Vikings begin the season versus the San Diego Chargers. The NFL has suspended Kevin Williams and Saints DE Will Smith for the first two games for violating its banned substance policy.
While it is a big blow, there are a three pieces of silver lining to this story…
1) Kevin is currently fighting plantar fasciitis, which figures to be a season long issue where he’ll admittedly “grin and bear” the pain for the entire season. He didn’t play the last two games of the preseason and maybe a little bit more rest will do Kevin some good.
2) The suspension was originally slated to be 4 games and now has been reduced to 2. Obviously good to have him only miss 1/8th of the season in comparison to only 1/4th, although the 2nd game is against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who possess a bright young back in LeGarrette Blount. And that leads us to our third point…
3) This is a great opportunity for Letroy Guion and Christian Ballard to step up. Both can play the 3-technique — defensive tackle who normally lies up opposite the left guard and aggressively tries to penetrate the line. Guion looked great in spot duty last year getting two sacks and also was solid in run support. Ballard also had a great preseason showing ability to play both defensive tackle and defensive end.
So we’ll see how the team fairs without debatably their best defensive player, but good teams rally when another player goes down. The defensive line is among of the last of our worries for the time being and hopefully by week 3 it’s a case of the rich getting richer. It’s not like we didn’t see this suspension coming.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig