Following Sunday's loss to the Giants, Vikes coach Mike Tice remained suspicious in discussion of the roster spot anticipated to be taken by Michael Bennett. The insider wisdom was that, if Bennett is only going to be involved in a handful of plays at best, why risk any injury and keep kicker Jose Cortez, who launched two kickoffs in the same game into the end zone for the first time since John Madden -- then with FOX -- fell in love with Mitch Berger.
Any questioning like that ended earlier this week when the Vikes released Cortez. It became the worst-kept secret since not finding weapons of mass destruction. When -- not if -- would Bennett be activated?
Two days later, the inevitable became official -- Bennett was added to the 53-man roster.
The question now becomes the extent of Bennett's role Sunday. How many times will he carry? If that number is five or less, is it worth de-activating someone who could contribute on special teams or in an injury pinch? Those questions will be answered about 6:30 p.m. Central Time Sunday.
A prediction: if Bennett plays in the first half and does well, look for him to have 10 or more carries -- he'll lobby at halftime. If he doesn't see the field in the first half or plays and does a crappie-flop, don't expect more than three carries.
* Sunday will mark the fourth straight week that networks have given the Vikings the A-list announcer crew. With the Vikes and Pack on ESPN, the network is throwing its "A" -- and only -- crew.
* Sunday will mark the sixth time in seven years that the Vikings and Packers will meet in a nationally televised prime time game.
* Prior to 2002, the Vikings had the longest streak of consecutives seasons with at least one Monday Night Football appearance. This is the second straight year the Vikes haven't been on MNF. VU has been told the Vikings and Chiefs are the two teams the NFL are going to pitch to all three networks -- keep in mind that FOX and CBS lose out when the conference marquee teams are playing on ESPN or ABC -- for featured coverage next year. How quickly things change. Aren't we all looking forward to the heart-pounding Steelers-49ers Monday night game Nov. 17? Hmmm.
* This whole Favre-dome controversy doesn't stand up numberswise. In his last six home games vs. the Vikings, Brett Favre has six TD passes. In his last three road games at the dome, he had seven TD passes.
* One Packer who has yet to shine vs. the Vikes is TE Bubba Franks. The Red Zone wonder for the Pack has just two touchdowns in seven games vs. the Vikings. But has he made big catches? No. In seven games, he has just 15 receptions for 107 yards. Do the math.
* Look for Donald Driver, who almost lost his career in Week 1, to be primed for a big game.
* In six career games vs. the Packers, Daunte Culpepper has thrown for 1,343 yards with 12 passing touchdowns and four rushing TDs.
* The Vikings featured backs -- Michael Bennett and Moe Williams -- haven't scored a TD in the last four games vs. the Packers. But combined they have rushed 86 times for 434 yards.
* Why do the Packers continue to bump-and-run with Randy Moss? In 11 career games vs. the Packers, Moss has caught 57 passes for 1,125 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was crucial in Week 1 this year, catching nine passes for 150 yards and a TD.
Bennett Officially Added to Roster
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