On Friday, Minnesota District Court Judge, Gary Larson, granted an injunction to Minnesota Vikings' players, Kevin and Pat Williams, in the StarCaps case. The injunction prohibits the NFL from presently invoking the four-game suspension meted out to the Williamses two years ago when both players tested positive for a substance found in the StarCaps diuretic that is banned under the NFL's banned-substances program.
Judge Larson's injunction applies until the Minnesota Court of Appeals rules on the Williamses' case. Should either the Williamses or the NFL apply for, and the Minnesota Court of Appeals grant, expedited review, that Appellate Court's ruling could be forthcoming in as few as three months. Given that the Williamses are unlikely to apply for expedited review and that the NFL is unlikely to meet the burden of demonstrating that this case requires such immediate attention that it should leap-frog other cases already on the Court's docket, such review is highly unlikely.
Without expedited review, it is highly unlikely that this case will be scheduled to be heard by the Court of Appeals anytime before the end of 2010. That likely means that at least Pat Williams will play one final season in Minnesota and never face an NFL suspension or the fine that otherwise would have attached thereto. And that likely means that the Vikings will have two fewer off-season concerns than they faced just yesterday.
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