By Joseph Gunther
For just the second time in his 11-year NFL career, Kevin Williams may not play due to an injury.
The 33-year-old former first round draft pick recorded two tackles, a pass deflection and a sack against the San Francisco 49ers, before a blindside, low block looked bad. Williams avoided a serious injury, but has not practiced since.
Williams has progressed, but Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier is going to wait until Friday to determine whether or not the defensive tackle will play in Sunday’s opener against the Detroit Lions.
“If he’s not able to do much on Friday, then that might be a concern about whether to have him play on Sunday, but we’ll see,” Frazier said before Wednesday’s practice. “We’ll see how he progresses. He’s doing well so far so we’ll see how things go as the week goes on.”
The Vikings remain hopeful that Williams will be able to plat at Ford Field on Sunday.
“He’s really improving,” Frazier said. “He’s making a lot of progress, so we are anxious to see if he’s able to do anything today. But he’s making good progress.”
If he is unable to go, the position becomes really thin. Williams’ backup Sharrif Floyd is also banged up. The first round draft pick was injured in the preseason opener with a knee injury. He has been a limited participant in practice Wednesday and Thursday.
“Not yet,” Frazier said when asked whether he has determined how much Floyd will play if Williams can’t before Wednesday’s practice. “We need to see him get some practice under his belt and today will be the most extensive amount of work he’s had in quite a while. We’ll see how he does and we’ll just gauge it throughout the week.”
Third string quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson missed Wednesday’s practice with an illness, but was a full participant on Thursday. Also, upgraded from Wednesday’s practice to Thursday’s was second-year safety Harrison Smith. He was limited participant on Wednesday with a back injury, but was a full participant Thursday.
The limited participants in both Wednesday and Thursday’s practices were defensive tackle Letroy Guion (finger), offensive tackle Phil Loadholt (knee), wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (back) and safety Mistral Raymond. Cornerback Chris Cook (groin), linebacker Larry Dean (shoulder) and linebacker Erin Henderson (heel) were full participants both Wednesday and Thursday.
Desmond Bishop has already been told he will not play in the opener.
“Not this week,” Bishop said Thursday. “Just waiting for my opportunity.”
He is not listed on the injury report, but past injuries are likely the reason for his delayed Vikings’ debut.
Bishop missed all of the 2012 season with a hamstring injury that required surgery. After he signed with the Vikings in late June, he suffered a groin injury that forced him to miss the preseason opener against the Houston Texans.
For more news and updates, visit Vikings Central.
Joseph Gunther is an avid fan of Minnesota sports, including football, hockey and baseball. He covered a wide variety of sports while attending Hastings College in Hastings, Neb. While at Hastings College, he was a part of the first collegiate media group to broadcast a national tournament via television, radio, internet and newspaper at the 2004 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament. He grew up in the Twin Cities playing three years of varsity football in high school. Joseph is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.