The return of Vikings' DT Kevin Williams will impact Sunday's game

Posted Sep 22, 2011

The six-time Pro Bowler has a disruptive presence the Lions are preparing for.

The return of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kevin Williams will likely have a significant impact on the Detroit Lions offense this week.

"He makes a huge difference," said guard Rob Sims. "We're talking about a six-time Pro Bowler - you can't fake that. He's big and he's quick. He's a tough task and he always has been."

Williams is one of the more disruptive interior linemen in the NFL, impacting both the run and the pass.

He contributed to a Minnesota run defense that ranked first in the NFL from 2006-08 and ranked second in the NFL in 2009.

"There's really no weakness with him," said Head Coach Jim Schwartz. "There's nothing that you can say, 'Hey, we can attack this part of his game.'

"I know he missed a lot of time in training camp with an injured foot, then missed the first two weeks of the season, but he'll be ready."

The top-ranked Vikings' defenses the past five years had the same four players along the defensive line: Williams, defensive ends Jared Allen and Ray Edwards, and defensive tackle Pat Williams.

Both free agents after the 2010 season, Pat Williams was not re-signed by the team and Edwards signed with the Atlanta Falcons, replaced by Remi Ayodele and Brian Robison, respectively.

"Those four guys - they were just so good together," said Sims.

The Vikings currently rank 21st in the NFL in total defense, but they have the potential to perform better with Williams on the field.

Detroit's ability to stretch the field with players like Calvin Johnson could help the Lions negate that strength, though. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has shown his ability to get the ball out quick to weapons like Jahvid Best, who can turn a short pass into a big gain.

"Against that defense, you need a guy to catch a short pass and run it for a bunch of yards," said Stafford. "You have to take what they give you because they can get after the passer - they rush the passer really well."