McKinnie getting crash-course

Two days of practice -- one in full pads -- has the Vikings convinced that Bryant McKinnie will be able to play at least 25 plays for them at left tackle Sunday.

Those two days have shown two things. First, that McKinnie -- who was clearly overweight during mini-camps -- came back from his near-100-day holdout in very good condition. Not football condition, necessarily, but good cardiovascular condition. It has allowed him to take a lot of reps the past two days.

Second, that his footwork -- the reason the Vikings took him No. 7 in the draft last April -- is outstanding.

"He's got great feet," coach Mike Tice said. "But he's definitely on schedule to play anywhere from 15 to 25 plays. Maybe even more than that. This was very, very encouraging."

Tice was so impressed that he wouldn't rule out the possibility of starting McKinnie on Sunday. He continued to split reps with the first team with Everett Lindsay. McKinnie is spending about two extra hours a day with Tice and offensive line coach Steve Loney. That time is spent with conditioning and skill drills and extra work in the classroom.

The good news is that McKinnie has caught on quickly.

"It feels just like January 3rd again," said McKinnie, referring to the last time he played in a game.


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