StarCaps Case Leaves Vikings’ DT Williams with Two-game Suspension

Three years and copious amounts of speculation later, the StarCaps fiasco has finally come to a rather disappointing end. There could, however, be a silver lining.

The NFL announced on Friday, September 2, that Minnesota Vikings' defensive tackle Kevin Williams(notes) will be suspended for the first two games of the NFL regular season for violating the league's performance-enhancing substances policy. His suspension will officially begin on September 3 and end on September 19, a day after the Vikings' host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their home opener.

As another part of his punishment, the NFL will also fine him the checks that he would have received for the first four games of the season. The two additional checks will be collected as a consequence for Williams testing positive for the banned diuretic StarCaps. The fines will amount to over $1 million, or a fourth of his $6 million 2011 salary.

Throughout the past three years, Williams and former Vikings defensive tackle Pat Williams(notes) have put on a terrific filibuster. The league allowed both players to continue competing after the case was taken to court on both the state and federal levels. Their case was based on whether or not the NFL had made it clear to players that StarCaps was a banned substance.

Despite their efforts, the Williams that still sails with the Norsemen decided to admit defeat and allow the NFL to determine his punishment. The end result was a two-game suspension and four game checks that will never see his wallet. It's a hard lesson to learn, but maybe this will teach him to do some more extensive research before ingesting something with a sketchy name like StarCaps.

I know that this situation seems unsettling right now, but this could end up being a blessing in disguise for the Vikings. Throughout the preseason, Williams has been fighting a tough case of plantar fasciitis. Considering the fact that this foot injury has limited his effectiveness and kept him out of the majority of the Vikings' preseason play, the two weeks of rest and recuperation could be just what he needs to continue his dominant ways in 2011. And with half of the Williams Wall no longer intact, the Vikings' defensive line needs some consistency and production from its big anchor in the middle.

The Vikings defense will need all of the help it can get this season. Even though the first two weeks will be rough without one of the best defensive linemen to ever don the horns, they're better off having a healthy Williams in Week 3 instead of an injured Williams in Week 1.

Gil Alcaraz IV has been a life-long Minnesota Vikings follower. Make sure to follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV as he provides insight and analysis on everything newsworthy involving the Vikings/NFL.

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Updated Saturday, Sep 3, 2011