Vikings Healing Physically

The time off from not having to play the Ravens last night has allowed some key Vikings to recover from injuries.

While nothing can be said to be good having come from the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C. last week, the Vikings have made the most of the down time, allowing four key players to heal.

At practice Monday, coach Dennis Green said he expects Cris Carter (thigh), Orlando Thomas (ribs), Patrick Chukwurah (chest) and possibly Shawn Worthen (a foot injury that had him deactivated for the opener) all available for the Bears game Sunday.

The Vikings have had trouble gaining any regular routine with training camp being stopped by the death of Korey Stringer and the regular season being halted by the terrorist attacks, but, as the Vikings approach a critical stretch of NFC Central games -- five of the next six games are against division opponents -- they are as healthy as they will be all season.

* Another indirect benefit to canceling the games of Week 2 is that the Vikings won't have a short week of preparation for Chicago. Had the Vikings been forced to play Monday, they wouldn't have returned to Minnesota until early this morning and would have gone through a short practice week before having to travel to Chicago.
* VU is hearing strong indications that today's expected announcement of the schedule will reinstate the 16th game of the regular season -- moving it to the end of the regular season -- and eliminating two of the three wild card teams.
* On the labor front, VU has also been told that the NFL will announce tomorrow an official agreement with the referees to return to action this weekend. The deal was struck with the representatives of the officials that will call for a 50 percent raise immediately and 100 percent raise in the fourth year of the six-year deal.
* New Orleans is close to agreeing on a new stadium deal with the Saints, which will take the team out of contention for non-NFL cities looking to lure a team away.

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