According to the Associated Press, “The NFL asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to clear the way for the suspension of [Kevin and Pat Williams] for violating the league’s anti-doping policy.” Oral arguments are being made this morning to the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul as the NFL attempts to overturn of Judge Paul Magnuson; who had decided that issues pending usurped the league’s collective bargaining agreement. ProFootballTalk gives a more in-depth analysis:
At issue is the May 22 decision of Judge Paul Magnuson, a federal
jurist who decided that the claims made by Kevin and Pat Williams under
Minnesota drug-testing laws supersede the Collective Bargaining
Agreement between the NFL and the players union.
three-judge panel on the Eighth Circuit agrees with Magnuson, the
state-court case will continue, and the Williamses will be able to play
until the litigation is resolved.
If the Eighth Circuit
disagrees, the state-court case will be scuttled. Barring the
intervention of the U.S. Supreme Court on an emergency basis, both
players will serve four-game suspensions arising from the ingestion of
StarCaps, an over-the-counter supplement that secretly had been spiked
with a banned substance.
The league is not going to allow these two players to escape this situation without a suspension and it would be wise on their part to simply take the hit now. The Vikings open with Cleveland, Detroit, San Francisco and (the now legendary matchup with) Green Bay. They should go 3-1 through that phase of their schedule in their sleep.