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Vikings' Williamses will play opener regardless of court case

Defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams are challenging four-game suspensions for violating NFL's drug policy last summer. League says suspensions won't start this week in any event.

September 09, 2009|Associated Press

Minnesota Vikings defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams will be able to play in the season opener at Cleveland this weekend, regardless of what happens with their court case against the NFL.

The Williamses, who are not related, are challenging four-game suspensions handed down by the league for violating the league's drug policy last summer.

The case is still tied up in court, but NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday the suspensions will not begin this weekend in any event.

Neither player is accused of taking steroids, but they acknowledge taking the over-the-counter weight-loss supplement StarCaps. The supplement did not list on the label that it contained the prescription diuretic bumetanide, which is banned by the NFL because it can mask the presence of steroids.

Vick speaks to kids

Michael Vick, speaking to a group of Philadelphia high school students, warned against the dangers of peer pressure and offered himself as a cautionary tale of what can happen when someone is a follower instead of a leader.

The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, who served prison time for running a dogfighting ring, addressed a rapt audience of 200 freshmen on their first day at Nueva Esperanza Academy, a North Philadelphia charter school.

He urged the students to make the right choices and to resist the temptation to follow the crowd.

"I didn't choose to go the right way, which led to 18 months in prison, which was the toughest time of my life," he said.

Raiders waiting for Seymour

Richard Seymour failed to report to Oakland for a second day after being traded from the New England Patriots. "I really have nothing to report on that," Raiders Coach Tom Cable said. "Nothing has changed at this point."

Done deals

Starting left tackle Langston Walker has been released by the Buffalo Bills in another effort to shake up a sputtering offense. The move was announced by the team during the players' day off. The Bills return to practice today to prepare for their season opener at New England on Monday. . . . The Philadelphia Eagles have signed veteran tight end Alex Smith to a one-year contract and released tight end Tony Curtis. . . . Pittsburgh Steelers center Justin Hartwig has signed a four-year contract, two days before the season opener against Tennessee. The Steelers have a policy of not negotiating with players once a season begins, so Hartwig's deal -- which runs through 2012 -- is likely the last until the off-season.

Bruschi joins ESPN

Recently retired New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi is joining ESPN as an analyst. Bruschi announced his retirement last week after 13 seasons in which he won three Super Bowls.

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