Jared Allen was asked if he ever pauses to watch ESPN's nightly "NFL Live" when clicking through television options. "Yeah, I do, and the whole thing is, 'Who shot themselves in the leg?'" he said. "It's ridiculous."

The Vikings defensive end gave this response after most of the media horde had drifted away from his cubicle in the Winter Park locker room.

And horde was the right word, since the NFL's decision to suspend defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams drew more media members to the team's Eden Prairie facility on Wednesday than at any time this season.

Allen's response to the ESPN question demonstrated that he shared a sportswriter's opinion: The midweek NFL shows have become nothing other than a litany of injuries and fines, speculation on suspensions and intense coverage of moronic off-field behavior.

The amount of time spent on "NFL Live" this week on what might happen in the upcoming round of games will be a fraction of what Plaxico Burress continues to receive for his bullet wound.

Actually, there was a football angle Wednesday at Winter Park: What would the Vikings look like without the side-by-side tackles who have been the strongest part of the defense for four seasons?

First, we had to ask the questions about the justice of it all -- a four-game suspension for taking a mislabeled diuretic. Allen was asked about "fairness" and said:

"I'm not going down that road. That's too expensive of a road to go down."

That was coming from a young man who has been fined $80,000 this season for hits on quarterbacks that the NFL didn't like. Allen was so restrained that he didn't even have a scouting report on backup defensive tackles Fred Evans and Ellis Wyms.

"Luckily, I don't have to study those guys, since I don't have to play against them," he said.

Evans and Wyms will be playing extensively Sunday in Detroit if the temporary restraining order granted to the Williamses on Wednesday evening in Hennepin County District Court does not stand up.

Evans is the backup to Pat Williams as the nose tackle. Wyms has replaced the nose tackle in pass-rushing situations. Come Sunday, Evans could be the starting nose tackle and Wyms could replace Kevin Williams at under tackle.

Miami took Evans in the seventh round of the 2006 draft. He was inactive for 15 games and played in the season finale. The only attention he received was for a couple of arrests for misdemeanor marijuana possession and a fight with Miami Beach police, causing the Dolphins to release him last July. He was signed by the Vikings and eventually served a two-game suspension (Games 12 and 13).

Asked about his time spent on a suspension, several hours before the Williamses' restraining order was announced, Evans said: "It's not fun. You feel like you should be doing something to help your team, but you can't practice, can't be at the facility. All you can do is find a gym and work out on your own."

Evans played in 11 games last season. The Vikings suggested he lose weight in the offseason and he did. The quiet, cliché-heavy Evans, listed on the Vikings roster at 6-4 and 305 pounds, shrugged and said "some" when asked how much weight he lost.

He wasn't sure of his highest number of snaps in a game this season. "I've played more than I did last year," he said.

Asked about the challenge of replacing a Pro Bowl nose tackle, Evans said: "I don't look at it as a challenge. I look at it as an opportunity to show I can play football ... and for us to keep the ball rolling as a team."

Wyms is an eight-year veteran. He's much more loquacious than Evans. Heck, Wyms is so comfortable in his skin that he's willing to state in the personal portion of his Vikings bio that he's an avid fan of Broadway musicals.

"Kevin's a beast -- everyone knows that -- but I can play, too," Wyms said. "I've been in the league for eight years. You don't stay in the NFL for eight years if you can't play."

Asked for an assessment of Evans before the evening's court developments, the veteran said: "He's definitely going to be an outstanding player in this league. And our rookie, Letroy Guion -- people don't know about him only because he hasn't had a chance.

"I'm going to do what I do. Fred's going to plug up the middle. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised at what they see from us Sunday."

Patrick Reusse can be heard weekdays on AM-1500 KSTP at 6:45 and 7:45 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. preusse@startribune.com