Nobody Fooled by Flutie Announcement

Why does this man look like the cat that just ate a mouse? Marty Schottenheimer's "surprise" announcement of 41-year-old Doug Flutie came as no surprise to the Vikes -- who realized it earlier in the week.

You have to give Mike Tice some credit. He watches a lot of NFL programming on the networks. He saw interviews with Doug Flutie this week wearing ice bags on his throwing shoulder.

Translation? He was taking all of the snaps with the first team in practice. While Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer held off making an "official" decision until Friday, when he made Flutie his starter Sunday vs. the Vikings, the Vikes coaches knew as early as Wednesday that Flutie would start over struggling youngster Drew Brees.

Tice told VU that the Vikings have been game-planning as if Flutie would be the starter, so Schottenheimer's big surprise was for fans only. The Vikings knew and they're prepared for him.

* As usual, Flutie has been a lightning rod for controversy in his own locker room. In Buffalo, he and Rob Johnson had one of the ugliest locker room splits in recent memory, as half of the team wanted Flutie to start and the other half wanted Johnson. After a season-and-a-half with Drew Brees at the wheel, all bringing in Flutie will do is separate a locker room that is already prepared to break down. Smooth move, Marty.
* Bryant McKinnie practiced Friday and will be a game-time decision Sunday. Tice said he's concerned about the long flight to San Diego and that sprains tend to swell up on long plane rides. However, the current plan is that, if there are no setbacks, McKinnie will give it a try Sunday.
* WR D'Wayne Bates practiced Friday, but was added to the injury report. He is listed as probable with a hamstring injury.
* The current plan for the Vikings is to give Michael Bennett 10-15 carries Sunday as he works his way back into game shape. Bennett had eight carries vs. the Packers last week.
* The Vikings had their last practice on the rock hard turf at Winter Park, which is similar to the surface at the Metrodome. While the team is in San Diego, the turf is going to ripped out and replaced with Astro Play, a synthetic turf that resembles grass in both appearance and design. The Metrodome turf is going to be ripped out in March and replaced with an Astro Play surface.

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