Nate Jacquet didn't go too far away from his phone and that was a good thing. A week ago, he had just been released by the Vikings. A week later, he was back at Winter Park -- and probably to stay for the rest of the season.
When the Vikings traded for DE Stalin Colinet, they needed to open a roster spot to add him. That spot became Jacquet, who was released. However, when Troy Walters injured his knee and Travis Prentice, who replaced Jacquet as the second deep man on kickoff situations, did a horrendous sideline flip on the opening kickoff, the handwriting was quickly on the wall -- bring Jacquet back.
The immediate need is as security in case Walters, who is still slowed by the sore knee, is unable to do return duties. However, Jacquet was one of the team's best special teams players and, with the release of Keith Thibodeaux, Jacquet will likely take the role of punt coverage outside man to get down the field in a hurry to force punt returners into the wedge.
To make room for Jacquet back on the roster, the Vikings announced the release (again) of LB Antonio Wilson. But, if, as expected, Wilson clears waivers, he's likely to be brought back to the practice squad Saturday.
* In some injury news, both the Vikings and Bucs had changes to their injury reports. The Vikings removed Corbin Lacina from the injury list -- he had been listed earlier in the week as probable -- and the Bucs upgraded WR Keyshawn Johnson from questionable to probable.
* Our sources inside the team say they expect Randy Moss to be close to 100 percent and start Sunday despite lingering ankle and Achilles problems, but once again expect Michael Bennett to be de-activated Sunday.
* In former Viking news, it looks like troubled Dimitrius Underwood is lost for yet another season. After checking into a mental hospital following an episode of his much-publicized bipolar disorder, a Cowboys source with VU has told us the team is waiting for the need to fill another roster spot to place Underwood on the non-football injury list, which would end his 2001 season. The Cowboys didn't need to do it this week, since they released a pair of veteran starters coming out of their bye week -- just another sign of how desperate things are in Dallas.
* The Vikings are still $800,000 under the 2001 salary cap and there is growing speculation that the team may look to sign a veteran player during the team's bye week following Sunday's game.
* Expect to hear a lot of talk over the weekend on the national preview shows about the Vikings being 8-1 heading into and coming out of bye weeks since the league instituted them eight years ago (there were two bye weeks one season). Both records represent the best of any team in the NFL.
* The Vikings may be catching teams at the right time. Since opening day, the Vikings' opponents have by and large been coming off tough previous games. Aside from the Bucs, who played Minnesota coming off a two-week bye, the Bears played the Ravens the game before meeting the Vikes, the Saints played at New York against the Giants, the Lions played St. Louis and the Packers played Baltimore. The Bucs are coming in off a home loss to Pittsburgh.
* The Bucs defense is losing some of its dominance. The Bucs are the worst team defensively in the NFL when it comes to third-down conversions, while the Vikings offense is the second-best at converting third downs. As hard as that might be to believe, consider this: the Vikings are ranked No. 13 defensively against the run, while the Bucs are rated No. 21.
Vikes Re-Sign Jacquet
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