Black and Blue all over: Mercy

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Many of you are probably suffering from Williams Wall fatigue. You can certainly put me in that category. And for what? By the end of Minnesota's practice week, nothing had changed from the beginning: Pat Williams and Kevin Williams were the Vikings' starting defensive tackles.

The only thing guaranteed by Friday's decision in U.S. District Court was that the Vikings face at least one more week of uncertainty and speculation about the status of the two players. That situation in itself becomes an obstacle for the team to overcome, and Vikings coach Brad Childress said he addressed the uncertainty with his coaching staff -- comparing it to a week-to-week injury for a significant player.

"[M]ost coaches are anal-retentive that way," Childress said. "Black and white, did good or did bad. But I think it is important [to be able to deal with uncertainty]. And we talk with our team about this, we talk about it as coaches. ... We talk about that. You would like to know. You would like to know. It's the same thing as 53 guys getting ready every week and 45 are up. Obviously if guys have the flu, have food poisoning, have to get an IV, can't go, the flu hits your team and three guys that maybe weren't planning on playing are now playing. ... Even though we would like it in a small little box, I have said it before: the National Football League in general, one thing you are certain about is uncertainty week-to-week."

We'll be shaking off StarCaps malaise later Saturday as we head off to Detroit. I'll check in from there if news warrants. Otherwise, we'll be with you Sunday morning from Ford Field.

But first, let's take our usual spin around the NFC North:

  • Rick Alonzo of the St. Paul Pioneer Press suggests that rookie center John Sullivan would start at right guard Sunday if Anthony Herrera does not. Herrera missed most of this week's practice because of the death of his brother.

  • Does this qualify as piling on? Larry Lage of the Associated Press points out that the Lions' 31-93 record over the past eight years is the worst stretch in the NFL since 1950.

  • The Lions couldn't even catch the break of missing the Williams Wall, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.

  • Chicago running back Adrian Peterson would love to run into his brother, Jacksonville linebacker Mike Peterson, at Soldier Field on Sunday. And we mean that literally. Nick Hut of the Northwest Herald has the story.

  • Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune believes the Bears should target a run-stopping nose tackle in the 2009 draft.

  • Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wonders how new Green Bay punter Jeremy Kapinos will fare in his Lambeau Field debut on Sunday, where it is currently frigid and snowing. Veteran Matt Turk provides some advice: "[Y]ou have to realize as a punter not to expect more than what the elements are going to give you."

  • The Packers have scored 10 points on their 12 opening possessions this season, writes Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal.