The NFL announced what Bryant McKinnie and the Vikings knew was a possibility for the last several months — the mountainous left tackle will be suspended for four games without pay for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.
The suspension starts today, according to a statement issued by the NFL making the announcement. That means he will miss the Week 1 showdown at Green Bay. While McKinnie has appealed, this isn't Major League Baseball, where a player gets to play until a ruling on the appeal is heard.
The suspension stems from a fight outside a Miami nightclub. McKinnie was charged with four crimes, including felony assault. It was his fourth run-in with the law, including the infamous 2005 Love Boat incident, in which the league fined him one game check.
McKinnie vs. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila has been a game within a Packers-Vikings game since McKinnie became a starter during his rookie season of 2002. Gbaja-Biamila, with his speed, frequently has caused McKinnie fits. That speed, though, has been sapped by lingering problems from offseason knee surgery, and his status for Week 1 is uncertain. KGB did not play in a preseason game, and there's an outside chance he'll be released in the Packers' final cuts, which are due by 5 p.m. today.
The penalty will end a streak in which McKinnie has played in 88 consecutive games and started 87 straight. Both of those marks are the longest among active Vikings.
The Vikings have had the same starting five on their offensive line since Week 5 of last season, but Artis Hicks will take over in McKinnie's absence.
Missing four games will cost McKinnie $764,706 of his $3.25 million salary. He is playing under a seven-year, $48.5 million extension signed in 2006 that included $18 million guaranteed.
— The agent for long snapper J.J. Jansen told the Green Bay Press-Gazette that the rookie has a sprained lateral collateral ligament in his left knee and should be OK for Week 1.
If not, the Bears released Jansen's training camp teammate, Thomas Gafford. Rob Davis is not an option, according to the league, because retired players can't come out of the front office after the cut to 75 players.
— Most times, the fines levied against multimillionaire pro athletes are laughable, This one hurts.
Undrafted rookie linebacker Danny Lansanah was fined $5,000 for his roughing-the-passer penalty on Denver's Patrick Ramsay on Aug. 22. Lansanah is making $800 a week and received a $5,000 signing bonus.