Vikings Banged Up After Win

Starting cornerback Robert Tate joined a growing list of injured Vikings Friday, as the team gets seriously banged up for the first time in preseason.

Avoiding injuries is always a key to the preseason. You can imagine the concern when Peyton Manning got rolled up in Friday night's game, injuring his right ankle and knee and requiring an MRI today to assess any potential damage.

However, the Colts were not alone in their concern. The Vikings list of walking wounded continues to grow. The team entered the game without Moe Williams and Doug Chapman and that list increased big time Friday.

Starting corner Robert Tate left early in the game with a shoulder injury and he was followed by Fernando Smith (separated rib cartilage), LB Isaac Keys (dislocated left shoulder), LB Patrick Chukwurah (concussion) and LB Fearon Wright (sprained wrist).

Vikings coach Dennis Green was a bit concerned about the Chukwurah injury, because he confirmed to VU that he wants Chukuwrah back "to compete for a starting job."

Green added that all the injured players may sit vs. Miami, which could be a sign that the Vikings aren't going to give the starters more than a series or two to protect against any injuries in that game.

* Smith and Fearon Wright haven't helped their causes to get more playing time. In the last two games, both of them have left with injuries shortly after entering the games.
* Backup quarterback Todd Bouman, the subject of persisting rumors that the Vikings may be shopping for a veteran backup QB, completed 6-of-8 passes for 45 yards and one interception. Many of the completions were on short plays designed to get the ball quickly to the "hot" receivers, while the interception was one of only two passes Bouman attempted well downfield. VU gave him a passing grade, but it may not have been enough to secure keeping his No. 2 spot.
* The Vikings had three interceptions Friday, giving the team seven in three preseason games. In 16 regular season games last year, the Vikings had just eight picks.
* The special teams made the big difference Friday night. Troy Walters got it started with a 51-yard kickoff return, Cedric James followed with a 37-yard kickoff return and Nate Jacquet salted the game away with a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown that provided the margin of victory.
* Randy Moss didn't see the ball a lot but was Mossian when he did. He caught just passes but they went for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
* The Vikings are quickly nearing the cutdown date Tuesday. By then, the team will have to get down to 65 players -- 13 off the current roster. However, VU has been told there may be some cuts made prior to Tuesday, perhaps even as early as today or Sunday.

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