Vikings Mid-Week Wrap

Practice notes and team news heading into week three of the 2003 NFL season.

--Look for rookie running back Onterrio Smith's role to expand as the Vikings strive to preserve starter Moe Williams and continue punishing opponents with their No. 3-ranked running game.
   Smith played his first game of the season against the Bears and carried the ball nine times for 47 yards (5.2). Williams had 21 carries for 108 yards (5.1).
   Williams shows no signs of wear despite being a hard-running, between-the-tackles player. But at 205 pounds, he's a player the Vikings want to be careful with.
   Smith had to sit out the Packers game two weeks ago because the coaches didn't have confidence in his pass protection and route running ability. Although he gave up a sack in the Bears game, he has earned more playing time.
   Using him as a power runner against a Lions defense that ranks 26th against the run makes a lot of sense.
   -- RB Doug Chapman missed the Bears game because of a high ankle sprain and soreness in his Achilles' tendon. He did not practice Wednesday and might be a game-time decision again.
   -- WR D'Wayne Bates bruised his left foot against the Bears and did not practice Wednesday. He was wearing a protective boot as he watched practice. He should play, however.
   -- SS Corey Chavous sprained his right knee against the Packers in Week 1, but played the entire game against the Bears in Week 2. He's not 100 percent, but will play this week against the Lions.
   -- CB Brian Williams will keep his starting spot at right corner. The Vikings had considered moving nickel back Ken Irvin ahead of Williams now that Irvin's dislocated big toe is close to 100 percent.
   -- LB Nick Rogers will see more action on passing downs as a rush end or outside linebacker. The Vikings' defensive line has no sacks in two games.
   -- P Eddie Johnson is last in the league with a 26.4-yard net average. He's trying to be too precise when trying to stop the ball inside the 20.
   -- FB Charles Stackhouse, inactive against the Bears in his first game as a Viking, will replace CB Brian Williams on kick and punt coverage teams.


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