Birk Injury Still Lingering

The Vikings may be without Matt Birk for some time after getting bad news on Tuesday. Plus, more news on signings, releases, workouts, injuries and fights … oh, my.

Minnesota Vikings All-Pro center Matt Birk returned to the Twin Cities on Tuesday for a follow-up exam on an abdominal injury.

Birk missed practice Monday while attending an exam, at which time he received an anti-inflammatory injection. The injection didn't show any results, so the Vikings scheduled another visit to the doctor for Tuesday.

Birk will likely miss more practice time than originally thought, though coach Mike Tice said he's been guaranteed that Birk will be ready for the season opener Sept. 12 against Dallas.

In Birk's place, Cory Withrow has been playing well the last two days, and Tice said that the team can benefit by extra work for the backups.

The Vikings signed free-agent punter/kicker Travis Dorsch on Tuesday and released punter Filip Filipovich. Dorsch played college ball at Purdue, then played one game with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2002.

Dorsch, who was recently released by Green Bay, worked out for the Vikings Monday night and Tuesday morning. He will compete with Darren Bennett for the punter position.

"This is a good opportunity for Travis," Tice said.

Cornerback Steve Smith worked out Monday but was not signed. Tice said he'd like to bring in a center and two cornerbacks for workouts sometime soon.

* Moe Williams has a strained calf and didn't practice Tuesday, and linebacker Mike Nattiel missed his second day of practice with a sprained ankle. Both are expected back at practice Wednesday.

* Tice said that running back Onterrio Smith continues to be bothered by a sore hip flexor.

* The Vikings had their first training-camp fight, which turned into quite a big to-do. Tight end Jermaine Wiggins, apparently upset at being tackled out of bounds, threw the ball at safety Tyrone Carter, and the two went after each other. The fight spilled into a crowd of players, and soon there were others pushing each other.

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