A federal judge in Minneapolis denied yesterday a request by the NFL Players Association to put the suspensions of five players on hold while the case over use of a banned substance is being appealed.

However, NFLPA attorney Jeffrey Kessler said it doesn't necessary mean the players will miss any games at the start of the 2009 season because there could be action at the appellate court level before the season starts.

Further, he said, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson has sent some issues surrounding the suspensions of Minnesota Vikings defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams back to the state courts.

Peter Ginsberg, attorney for both Vikings, said the ruling would not affect them because they have a stay on their suspensions from a state court. "I don't think it effects our clients at all," he said. They will be back in front of a state judge next week.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello declined to comment about the ruling. The Vikings defensive tackles, who are unrelated, and three New Orleans Saints tested positive for a banned diuretic last year and were each given four-game suspensions for violating the NFL's doping policy.

Noteworthy

* Jon Jansen, 33, a fixture on the Washington Redskins offensive line for much of the last decade before injuries took their toll, was cut by the team. *