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On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings kickoff the 2013 NFL season in Detroit against the Lions. On Friday we learned that the Vikings would be without one of their top players for the season opener.
Defensive tackle Kevin Williams has been ruled out for this Sunday’s game against Detroit by head coach Leslie Frazier as he recovers from a hyper-extended knee. Williams suffered the injury as a result of a hit by San Francisco lineman Joe Looney on Aug. 25 in a preseason game against the 49ers.
“We are going to rule Kevin Williams out for this ballgame,” head coach Leslie Frazier said after practice. “He needs a little bit more time to heal and he’s not quite there yet.”
When asked how long Williams was going to be gone, Frazier responded by saying he’s close.
“We are optimistic that when we come back next week, we’ll be able to get some work out of him on the field and are optimistic we should have a pretty good chance of having him next week,” he said.
With Williams out of this Sunday’s game, the expectation is that first-round pick Sharrif Floyd will be taking most of Williams snaps on defense. However, Frazier wouldn’t commit Floyd starting in place of Williams.
“We are going to talk about our depth chart tonight and tomorrow.” Frazier said. “We feel like we’ll have a good rotation to get guys through.”
If Floyd does start in place of Williams, Floyd is confident he’ll be able to step in and contribute right away as Williams and the other veterans on the Vikings defense have helped him prepare for this moment.
“They have been helping me since day one,” Floyd said. “I sit around the guys asking questions, wanting to know if I did it wrong.”
Williams admitted he’s a little frustrated that he has to miss the season opener.
“I feel good doing the stuff I need to do on the field, and I could probably try to play this week but what’s the chance to try and do that and miss four more games after,” he said.
Williams did acknowledge he is getting closer to coming back.
“We are just hitting the rehab right now, doing all we can to let this bone bruise heal,” he said. “It’s a big improvement from where we were last week. I’m trying to make strides and be ready for next week.”
In the meantime, while rehabbing, Williams is helping Floyd prepare for his first NFL game.
“I’ve been in the meetings, pointing some things for him to check out in the game,” Williams said. “He has veterans around him and they’ll help him out on Sunday.”
When asked how he thinks Floyd will do, Williams responded, “I think he’ll be fine. We did draft him in the first round for a reason. He can play.”