Pre-Game Notes: Eagles-Vikings

We're taking a late inside look Sunday's Wild Card matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings.

Philadelphia Eagles Notes

• A league source told that TE L.J. Smith (shoulder-questionable) should be available to play today, but probably in just a limited role. Second-year TE Brent Celek has a decent chance to make his 8th start this season and 12th of his young career.

• The reason why starting RG Shawn Andrews (back-out) wasn't placed on injured reserve is because has a chance to play in the Super Bowl should the team make it that far. Third-year OL Nick Cole will be making his 6th straight start for Andrews. Third-year OL Max Jean-Gilles (broken leg-IR) started 10 games in place of Andrews.

• A team source said CB Asante Samuel (hip-questionable) was held out of Friday's practice for precautionary reasons only and Samuel will be in the lineup today.

• While many believe former starting WR Reggie Brown won't be with the team next season, a league source notes that the team would absorb around a $5 million salary cap hit if they release him. Brown has dropped to the 5th spot on the depth chart at receiver.

• Look for the team to pick up the roster bonus for backup DE/DT Darren Howard. Given up for dead after the 2007 season, Howard got in perhaps the best shape of his career and posted 10 sacks this season and has at least a half sack in eight games in 2008. Howard's $1 million roster bonus is believed to be due in March.

Minnesota Vikings Notes

• The Vikings will only dress three defensive ends today and it's a good thing that they didn't trade second-year Brian Robison. The Kansas City Chiefs tried to include the University of Texas lineman in the Jared Allen trade but Minnesota balked. Robison, who will be starting for Ray Edwards (knee-out), will be making his first start of the season and 6th of his young career.

• While both sides haven't talked about a new deal in well over a year, a league source said it's not out of the question that the team offers starting C Matt Birk a one-year contract. Birk is on the final season of his eight-year deal. It's believed rookie C John Sullivan isn't ready for a significant role next season and the only in house option is to move RT Ryan Cook inside.

• Starting CB Cedric Griffin struggled last week and league sources believe Philadelphia will pick on him from the outset of today's game. Griffin struggled with footwork and technique against the New York Giants and some believe rookie WR DeSean Jackson will be moved around to Griffin's side quite a bit.

• According to a league source, by rushing for at least 1,000 yards this season, second-year RB Adrian Peterson reached a $2.5 million escalator in his contract which will be paid in 2010. Peterson had to rush for at least 1,000 yards in just two of his first three seasons to achieve that reward.

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