D'Wayne Bates knew as the season progressed he would be challenged by Nate Burleson and Kelly Campbell for his starting job. But VU is hearing that competition may now be over.
As the Vikings returned to practice Monday after the bye week, Bates was once again sidelined with a sore foot that has caused him to miss the last three games prior to the bye. From what VU was told Monday, it looks doubtful that anything will change this week and Bates once again looks destined to be inactive Sunday.
While his loss leaves a void in the receiver corps, it has given Burleson and Campbell each a chance to try to stake a claim to a starting job and, when Bates finally does return, he very well may find his opportunity as a full-time starter gone.
* Mike Tice gave no favors out Monday, running practice a half-hour longer than scheduled in a grueling full-pads workout.
* Tice said their will be three competitions in practice this week for spots on the active roster and playing time. First, Lewis Kelly and Everett Lindsay will be competing for the last available active spot on the offensive line -- Kelly was inactive the first four games before playing the second half at Atlanta. Another battle pits LB Raonall Smith and CB Rushen Jones for a spot on the special teams. In addition, Tice said Hunter Goodwin and Sean Berton will compete for the No. 2 tight end position when the team runs multi-TE sets Sunday.
* Thanks to poor offensive numbers Sunday vs. the Giants, the Cowboys dropped from the top spot in total offense. The new No. 1? Your rested Vikings.
Bates Likely Out Again
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