Alexander on the Bubble

As Derrick Alexander took part in portions of the recent two-day entanglement with his former team, whispers circulate that he has more to prove than may meet the eye.

The day before Derrick Alexander officially became a Viking, Mike Tice threatened that if he didn't sign an agreed-upon contract, the Vikes would go after Antonio Freeman. Alexander signed.

He entered training camp as the starter opposite Randy Moss -- the first "next Cris Carter" of Vikes history. He failed.

Nagging injuries that conjured up talk of Bill Parcells referring to Terry Glenn as "she" when both were with the Patriots came to mind. Alexander lost his starting job to D'Wayne Bates and, despite chances to reclaim it, never did.

Alexander is now listed as the No. 5 receiver on the Vikings depth chart -- behind Moss, Bates, Kelly Campbell and rookie Nate Burleson. As a veteran, it's hard enough to ask a player to be a No. 3 guy, but a No. 5?

With the Vikings in short supply of veteran receivers, Alexander has a decent chance to stick with the team. After all, he tore up his deal signed last year to accept veteran minimum to win his job back.

But, he has yet to do so. With the Vikings coaches high on several young receivers, Alexander is on the clock every day from now until cutdown days. If he doesn't produce, he will be one of the veteran casualties cited on "Sports Center."

While nothing may be said publicly about his standing with the team, VU is being told that this is Alexander's biggest training camp in years. It's up to him if his NFL future rides in Minnesota. So far, he needs to pick it up.

* Don't expect to see the Vikes and Chiefs practicing together next year. After some chippy moments in the first day of their two-day scrimmage, an incident happened Thursday that sent Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil through the roof -- even though he wasn't following his offense at the time. Vikes CB Rushen Jones threw Chiefs WR Dameane Douglas to the ground at the end of a play and, from Douglas' reaction, it seems almost sure he broke a leg on the play. Vermeil went ballistic. According to a VU friend with the Chiefs media contingent, Vermeil claimed the Vikes were dirty and thought the play may have been intentional. Week 16 just got more interesting.
* As if the Vikes weren't hurting enough in the secondary, DB Eric Kelly pulled a hamstring in the afternoon practice.
* The Vikes are going to take a little easier this weekend. Today they have walk-through scheduled for Saturday's full-pad intrasquad scrimmage at 11 a.m. The team plans to take Sunday off.

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