Offensive Stars Return

Daunte Culpepper has been missing from action for 2-1/2 games, and Randy Moss has been limited in practice since the season opener. Both returned to a full practice regimen Monday and will start Sunday against Denver.

Coach Mike Tice had a big smile on his face as he walked to the front of his team's stretching formation before Monday's full-pad practice.

"I got my guys back," Tice bellowed, looking at Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper.

Moss and Culpepper returned to practice as the Vikings came off their bye week healthier than they've been since breaking training camp two months ago. Neither had participated in a full-pad workout since before the Detroit game on Sept. 21.

Culpepper fractured three bones and partially cracked a fourth in his lower back against the Lions. He missed the next two games, but will start on Sunday against Denver.

"Daunte's great," Tice said. "He's good to go. He jumps right back in. He's the number one. When I asked him how he felt on a scale of one to 10, he was about a nine."

Moss hasn't missed a game, but had been limited in practice because of back spasms. Tice gave him the entire bye week off.

"I thought about holding him out of practice (Monday)," Tice said. "But he's pretty frisky."

* DL Billy Lyon aggravated his calf injury, but is improving. He's day-to-day.
* LB Chris Claiborne is battling through nagging shoulder and heal injuries. He should be able to play Sunday.
* WR D'Wayne Bates missed his third consecutive game because of a bruised bone in his foot. He practiced Monday.
* LB E.J. Henderson, who suffered a slight tear in his right rotator cuff against the Falcons, returned to practice Monday.
* RB Michael Bennett, who fractured his foot in the offseason and is still on the physically unable to perform list, began jogging last Wednesday.
* WR Nick Davis, who is on the physically unable to perform list with a shoulder injury, is practicing again.
* RB Moe Williams is tied for fifth in the NFC in rushing with 397 yards. He also became the 22nd Viking to surpass 1,000 career rushing yards.
* DE Lance Johnstone, who plays only in passing situations, is tied for fifth in the NFC with four sacks.

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