Vikings' Kevin Williams looks to Week 2

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 7, 2013 - 12:54 AM

Sunday’s game will be only the third he has missed because of injury.

 

The Vikings officially ruled Kevin Williams out of Sunday’s season opener at Detroit, but the veteran defensive tackle expects to play against Chicago in Week 2.

“I’m real hopeful for next week,” he said. “I’d be shocked if I didn’t play next week.”

This will be the first game Williams has missed because of injury since 2005. He suffered a hyperextended right knee, a bone contusion and a posterior capsular strain on a low hit in the San Francisco preseason game. He was on crutches last week, but he said the swelling has subsided.

“It’s a big improvement from last week,” he said. “I’m just trying to make strides and be ready for next week.”

Williams has been extremely durable throughout his decorated career. He’s started 156 games — one shy of Alan Page’s team record for starts by a defensive tackle — and has missed only two games because of injury in his career.

“It’s a little frustrating because I feel good,” he said. “I could probably try and play this week, but what’s the chance of trying to do that and miss four more after?”

Williams’ absence means first-round pick Sharrif Floyd likely will get more playing time than expected in his debut. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier didn’t announce who will start in Williams’ place, but he said Floyd has shown no lingering effects from a knee injury that sidelined him most of the preseason.

“I think he’s ready,” Frazier said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do so we’re going to let him go.”

Williams expressed confidence in the rookie.

“I think he’ll be fine,” he said. “We drafted him first round for a reason. He can play.”

On an island

The Vikings limited Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson to only five catches for 54 yards in a victory in Detroit last season. Chris Cook drew the primary coverage responsibilities that day, though he received plenty of help from his safeties. Cook said the key to defending the 6-5, 236-pound Johnson is to be physical at the line.

“He’s a guy that you want to slow down at the line,” Cook said. “He makes a lot of big plays going down the field and going up and playing the ball in the air. He’s going to make his plays. You try and limit him in as many ways as you can.”

Johnson set an NFL record with 1,964 receiving yards last season. That included 40 catches that netted at least 20 yards. Cook faces his toughest matchup of the season in Week 1.

“He brings out the best in me, him being the best receiver in the game today,” Cook said. “I have to be at my best, and everybody is expecting the best out of me. He’s going to get his touches. Even if he’s double-teamed, triple-teamed, they’re still going to give him the ball because they believe in his ability to make plays.”

One-two punch

The Vikings were one of only three NFL teams that started the same offensive line all 16 games last season, joining the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets.

The Vikings returned their entire line intact, which is a good thing, considering they face perhaps the best defensive line on their schedule in the opener.

Defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley are considered the best tandem in the NFL. That duo combined for more sacks (15.5) and tackles for loss on running plays (20.5) than any other tackle tandem in the league.

“They’re both All-Pro, Pro Bowl-caliber defensive linemen,” Vikings right guard Brandon Fusco said. “It’s a challenge for us. We have to be physical with them. It’s probably one of our most physical games of the year. These guys are no joke up front. They’re all power guys.”

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Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 1
LA Angels - WP: T. Skaggs 7 FINAL
Washington - LP: T. Jordan 2
Kansas City - WP: J. Shields 8 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: D. Salazar 2
Baltimore - LP: E. Meek 3 FINAL
Toronto - WP: S. Delabar 9
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Leesman 6 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 8
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 0
Miami - WP: J. Fernandez 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Wood 0
Minnesota - LP: K. Gibson 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Price 7
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 9 FINAL
Boston - LP: J. Lester 3
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Hammel 9
San Diego - WP: D. Roach 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: A. Figaro 1
San Francisco - LP: M. Bumgarner 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: F. Morales 2
Texas - WP: A. Ogando 5 FINAL
Oakland - LP: L. Gregerson 4
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 5 FINAL
Seattle - LP: E. Ramirez 2
Philadelphia - WP: A. Bastardo 3 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 2
Atlanta 85 FINAL
Indiana 101
Brooklyn 95 FINAL
Toronto 100
Washington 101 FINAL
Chicago 99
Tampa Bay 3 FINAL
Montreal 4
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NY Rangers 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 1
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Los Angeles 3
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

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