Report: Vikings safety Williams out at least six weeks

Updated: August 13, 2008, 12:54 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Minnesota Vikings, who finished last in 2007 in pass coverage, were counting on free-agent acquisition Madieu Williams to help change that in 2008 from his safety position.

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Now, however, they'll reportedly have to wait awhile for him to make an impact. The Star Tribune, citing unnamed sources, reported Tuesday that Williams will miss at least six weeks with an undisclosed neck injury.

Williams missed the Vikings' preseason opener against the Seahawks last Friday with what the team called neck spasms.

The newspaper reported that it's unknown when Williams injured his neck and coach Brad Childress refused to address the injury as he's not required to do so in the preseason.

Williams also wouldn't disclose the nature of his neck injury.

"I'm not allowed to discuss the condition of my injuries," Williams told the Star Tribune. "I think that's something that you've got to talk to coach [Brad] Childress about, or the trainers."

Williams, who played for the Bengals last season, agreed to a six-year, $33 million contract with the Vikings in the offseason.

Williams is known more for his coverage skills than his hitting, and the Vikings wanted to shore up some of their pass-coverage deficiencies.

Information from ESPN.com's John Clayton was used in this report.