McCombs Beckpedals On Comments

Owner Red McCombs Monday backpedaled better than the Vikings' defensive backs did Sunday after telling the players the loss to the Giants was humiliating.

Vikings owner Red McCombs was scrambling Monday after sticking his cowboy boot in his mouth after Sunday's 29-17 loss to the Giants.

According to eyewitnesses in the locker room, McCombs addressed the players after coach Mike Tice had concluded his post-game speech. One of the things the emotionally charged McCombs supposedly told the players was they had "humiliated" themselves and the team's fans in a game they could have won.

A victory would have extended the Vikings' unbeaten record to 7-0 and winning streak to 10 games. Instead, they're 6-1 and lead Green Bay by three games in the NFC North heading into Sunday night's nationally-televised game against the Packers at the Metrodome.

The Vikings organized a teleconference with McCombs and members of the Twin Cities media on Monday. A contrite McCombs said he doesn't recall saying "humiliated," but did not deny it.

Although the Vikings gave up 450 yards of offense and struggled offensively in the second half, it was hardly a humiliating performance.

In fact, as bad as the defense played, it actually kept the Vikings in the game in the first half. If not for an interception in the end zone by Corey Chavous and goal-line stand in which the Vikings held the Giants to a field goal after first-and-goal at the 3-yard line, the Giants could have led 24-10 at halftime instead of 13-10.

Tice said his team played hard, but made mistakes typical of the many young players it has. To say the loss was humiliating was way overboard, and McCombs was quick to backtrack.

* WR Kelly Campbell, who bruised his right calf against Denver last week, was inactive against the Giants. He'll play against Green Bay.
* LB Raonall Smith re-aggravated a chronic hamstring pull and was inactive. He is day-to-day.
* PK Aaron Elling didn't kick off for a second consecutive week because of a sore back. But he did make a 51-yard field goal. He said his back is almost 100 percent.

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