Lacina Likely Won't Play

The Vikings head into tomorrow's game looking to establish themselves offensive, but that could be more difficult without guard Corbin Lacina.

It seems like a lifetime ago when the Vikings signed Corbin Lacina and Dennis Green made no bones about the fact that he would be a backup on the offensive line.

The tragic death of Korey Stringer forced Lacina back into a starting job, but Sunday the Vikings minimal depth at offensive line will once again be tested, as VU has been told that the chances of Lacina starting Sunday are remote.

Lacina didn't practice Friday, still trying to recover from a high ankle sprain, and the rumblings we're hearing is that the Vikings are more concerned about having him back for next week's game vs. Green Bay that risking further injury against Detroit.

For a team desperately trying to establish a running game, losing a veteran guard like Lacina won't make that prospect any easier.

In the event Lacina doesn't play, his spot will be taken by super-sub Everett Lindsay, who is currently backing up all five OL positions.

* The Vikings are cautiously optimistic about the return of Robert Griffith, who was walking the sidelines Friday without his protective boot that he was wearing over his broken fibula. While he still likely out for at least four more weeks, the Vikings have their bye week during that period, so he miss only three or four more actual games.
* Daunte Culpepper's running has been limited much this year because of the lack of production from the offensive line. Last year, Culpepper ran out of design, clearing the defense out with Randy Moss and Cris Carter and giving him clear sailing through the middle of the defense. This year, he's been running from necessity rather than choice and it shows. His longest run of the season is just 10 yards and he didn't have a single rush last week vs. the Saints.
* The Vikings offense is encouraged by this stat. Minnesota has been notoriously slow starting games this year, but Detroit could be the tonic for the that. The Lions have been outscored 35-3 in the first quarter of games this season. * The Lions are hopeful to get two starting offensive linemen on the field Sunday, but neither are guaranteed. Tackle Aaron Gibson did some light work on Friday and the team is hopeful he'll be ready Sunday, but guard Stockar McDougle is still a question mark. If neither of them can play, Detroit's pathetic offense could be in even more dire condition.

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