Bennett Surgery Set For Today

Injuries are a part of the game in the NFL, but a workout did what no player had been able to do -- sideline Michael Bennett.

Michael Bennett is something of a football oddity. Aside from minor injuries, Bennett has never been seriously injured. He has never had surgery of any kind, so when he was told Wednesday that he needed surgery on his left foot, he was understandably nervous.

According to Mike Tice, Bennett was working out at Winter Park Tuesday when he complained of "discomfort in his foot." After being looked at by trainers, he was diagnosed with a Jones Fracture of the fifth metatarsel bone.

Bennett, who spoke with Kevin Garnett about the recuperating time for such a surgery, is scheduled to undergo surgery today. He will be in a walking boot over the weekend and will be on crutches for the next two to three weeks.

His rehab time should take about six weeks before he can resume working out at 100 percent. Taking no chances, Tice has already effectively ruled him out of the team's primary May minicamp, which will start six weeks from today.

* Let the draft posturing begin. VU has been told that the player the Vikings are eyeing right now is Kentucky DT Dewayne Robertson. Some team insiders have said the Vikings think Robertson is a better fit with their scheme than Penn State DT Jimmy Kennedy, who most draftniks have as the top defensive tackle to go in next month's draft.
* The furor over Arizona State DE Terrell Suggs got shaken up Thursday, as word got out that he had an awful workout at his team's pro day. With representatives from several teams, including the Texans, Lions and Bengals (who own the first three picks in the draft), on hand, Suggs ran a pathetic 4.86 40-yard dash and, after stripping down to almost nothing, still ran a 40 at 4.7 seconds. That may be enough for teams like the Bengals and even the Bears to shy away from him in the first round. However, VU has been told it remains very unlikely that he will still be on the board when the Vikings pick at No. 7.
* Speaking of the Bears, VU has been told the team is talking with the Jets, Saints and Patriots -- three of the four teams with two picks in the first round -- about their interest in moving up in exchange for the No. 4 pick. That being said, the team has a private workout scheduled with QB Byron Leftwich.
* The Vikings would love for someone to draft Leftwich on the first six picks of the draft. As stated earlier by VU, the Vikings want one of the defensive plums of the draft and four have been identified as blue-chip picks -- CB Terence Newman, Suggs, Kennedy and Robertson. With Carson Palmer and WR Charles Rogers all but assured to be taken with the first six picks, all the Vikings realistically need is to have one more player -- either Leftwich or WR Andre Johnson of Miami -- to slide above No. 7 on draft day and the team will be assured of getting one of those four defensive players. As it stands now, from what VU is being told, the Vikings have those four players ranked in this order: Newman, Suggs, Robertson and Kennedy.
* If Leftwich is to be part of the solution for the Vikings' draft plans, mark April 7 on your calendar. That is when Marshall University has its pro day and several teams looking for a franchise QB will be watching Leftwich closely. If he has a great workout, he, too, could move into the top five or six players taken -- which would benefit the Vikings, since they have no intention of taking a QB on the first round.
* The last time the Arizona Cardinals had a game that garnered national attention was when they were whipped by the Vikings in the playoffs following the 1998 season. That has changed. When the 2003 schedule is released, likely late next week or early the following week, a Cardinals game will be circled. Arizona will travel to Dallas to meet the Cowboys -- a homecoming for recently signed RB Emmitt Smith, who inked a monster deal that many believe was done more to sell tickets and promote the team than any sincere belief that Smith can come close to being the Smith of old.

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