Moe To Start, Will Bennett Play?

While the final verdict on Michael Bennett officially won't come until this morning, VU is being told there is a good possibility the team won't play Bennett much, if at all -- but due to concerns about depth may be forced to keep him activated even if he doesn't play.

After Sunday's win over the Seahawks, neither Moe Williams nor Michael Bennett looked all that healthy. With Williams sustaining a knee injury that required an MRI and Bennett hobbled with a sprained ankle, neither looked to be 100 percent heading into today's game with Chicago.

While Moe has been tabbed to start today, the Vikings continue to say Bennett will be a "game-time" decision. From what we're hearing, if Moe looks solid early in the game, the Vikings will make Onterrio Smith the No. 2 back and hold out Bennett. However, that doesn't necessarily mean he will be de-activated.

Ideally, the Vikings would like to sit Bennett today and have him ready for a big home game vs. the Chiefs next Saturday and, if needed, a win at Arizona to clinch a division title in a worst-case scenario.

To that end, if practical, Bennett won't play. And, if the Vikings are convinced Moe can go at 100 percent, he may be de-activated to make sure he's healthy for next week.

* Rex Grossman hasn't taken a snap since the preseason and hasn't worked with the first-unit offensive line of the Bears during his short career. Look for the Vikings to bring an assortment of blitzes to confuse Grossman. If it worked on a QB like Matt Hasselbeck who, while young, has two years experience, the feeling is that Grossman could take some lumps Sunday.
* The Bears likely won't blitz the Vikings nearly as much. They haven't in any of the last three games, as they make an effort to shut down Randy Moss and make the Vikings beat them with the run and short pass.
* In his last seven games vs. the Bears, Moss has been limited to 36 catches for 428 yards and three touchdowns -- an average of five catches for 61 yards a game and less than one TD every two games.
* The Vikes are first in the NFL with 25 interceptions and second with a plus-10 giveaway-takeaway ratio. A year ago, the Vikings defense had 23 total turnovers (picks and fumble recoveries) and had a minus-18 giveaway-takeaway ratio.
* In their meeting earlier this year, the Vikings ran for 202 yards on the Bears defense.
* Daunte Culpepper's 96.9 QB rating is the best in the NFC.
* Moe Williams has 556 receiving yards, the most of any NFC running back.
* The Bears have just 18 takeaways -- 30th in that department in the NFL.
* Despite being eliminated from the playoffs, the Bears are 4-2 at Soldier Field.

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