A judge on Thursday blocked the NFL's plan to suspend Minnesota Vikings linemen Kevin Williams and Pat Williams for violating the league's anti-doping policy, a move their attorney said should let them start the season.
Hennepin County District Judge Gary Larson granted the players' request for a temporary restraining order that keeps the NFL from suspending them until their case is decided. The order also prohibits the league from subjecting them to extra drug testing.
The Williamses "would suffer a significant loss of playing time" without the restraining order, the judge wrote, and they have shown "some likelihood" of winning their lawsuit.
Peter Ginsberg, an attorney for the two players, called the order a "major victory" and said that at a minimum it should allow them to play for the early part of the upcoming season. He said it also protects them from stepped-up drug testing that they consider to be retaliation for standing up to the NFL.