The Vikings ruled defensive tackle Kevin Williams out of Sunday's season opener in Detroit, but Williams said he 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."
Williams suffered a hyperextended right knee, a bone contusion and a posterior capsular strain on a low hit in the San Francisco preseason game. Williams was on crutches last week but he said the swelling is gone and he was walking without a limp in the locker room on Friday.
"It's a big improvement from last week," he said. "I'm just trying to make strides and be ready for next week."
Entering his 11th NFL season, Williams has missed only two games because of injuiry and that happened back in 2005.
"I've been telling these guys that it's kind of frustrating," Williams said. "It's a little frustrating because I feel good. 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 rookie Sharrif Floyd will get more playing time than expected in his debut. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier didn't announce who will start in place of Williams but he said Floyd has no lingering effects from the knee injury that sidelined him for most of the preseason.
"I think he's ready," Frazier said. "He's had a good week of practice. He has shown any adverse effects from that injury."