Vikings finally face K. Williams suspension

The apparent end of the 2 1/2-year StarCaps legal battle means the Minnesota Vikings could lose defensive tackle Kevin Williams for the first four games of the 2011 season, regardless of any lockout delay.

Fellow defensive Pat Williams will be a free agent and it isn't clear if he will re-sign with the team. His suspension would apply whether he returns to the Vikings or signs elsewhere. He has said he doesn't plan to retire. Neither player was able to overturn discipline for the use of a weight-loss supplement that carried a banned diuretic; they said they were unaware of the ingredient and accused the NFL both of failing to inform them of that fact and also of breaking Minnesota state law in administering its drug testing policy.

Regardless, the Vikings will need to fortify their depth at defensive tackle in anticipation of Kevin Williams' absence. As of Thursday afternoon, he was one of only three defensive tackles under contract. The others are career backups Letroy Guion and Tremaine Johnson. Veteran Fred Evans did not receive a contract tender before the lockout began and thus is a free agent.