Head coach Leslie Frazier said the franchise is deciding this week on a drop-dead date for when the NFL lockout of players would have to end for the Vikings to spend their typical two weeks in Mankato preparing for the regular season.
"We're talking through some of that and we're going to probably come to a conclusion the middle of [this] week as to an exact [date] – if we don't know anything by that date, we probably won't be going to Mankato. We're still discussing that," Frazier said.
The Greater Mankato Convention and Visitors Bureau estimated Vikings training camp has a $5 million economic impact on the city.
Frazier and his coaching staff are also being forced to be flexible in their scheduling. He has several plans in place on how he would handle preparation for the 2011 season, depending on when the lockout ends and coaches are allowed to start working with players again.
"If we don't have football [practices] in June or July, that's going to affect how we approach training camp," Frazier said. "We have some different scenarios that we're taking a look at. Some include some back-to-back practices. Some include no back-to-back practices, but it's based on whether or not we have any football in June or July."
The timing will also affect the Vikings' quarterback decision after drafting Christian Ponder in the first round and being unable to work with him.
"We talked about a bunch of different scenarios and each week things change as you get farther into this. Just depends on how far along you go," Frazier said. "If we don't start the season until what would have been Week 3 of the NFL season and all the sudden that's actually Week 1 of a 14-game schedule, you're going to think a little bit differently than if we start football in late June and you were able to get a month's work in in July before you take some time.
"Each scenario presents its own challenges. We're not married to any scenario at this point."
The coaching staff usually takes some vacation time in June and July before the start of training camp, but with minicamp and organized team activities that normally take place in May and June already scrapped, there is a possibility they will have some practices later this month or in July if the lockout ends in the coming weeks.
"We're going to try to get a break in there somewhere. We all have to be on call because things could change at any moment," Frazier said. "We'll try to get a break in there somewhere because there's a chance when we do come back we'll be working right through training camp."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.