Vikes Release Lewis Kelly

After making it through the tragedy of losing his wife and unborn child in 2002, Lewis Kelly, by some accounts, wasn't the same player. With the Vikings adding depth to their offensive line, it was a reluctant Mike Tice who announced Kelly's release Thursday.

Lewis Kelly was a favorite of coach Mike Tice. It was Tice who discovered him and convinced then-head coach Dennis Green to give him a shot. When the Vikings needed Kelly to fill in at both tackle spots due to injury and the Bryant McKinnie holdout, he did so -- despite the death of his wife and unborn child due to pregnancy complications.

So it was with understandable sadness that Tice announced Thursday that Kelly had been released -- putting the business side of football back into perspective.

There were some who felt Kelly never rediscovered the competitive fire he had before the death of his wife and that some of that desire might never return.

Kelly was made expendable by the drafting of OT Nat Dorsey and the strong play of utility lineman Anthony Herrera.

* The Vikings will practice with the Chiefs today with Commissioner Paul Tagliabue making an appearance. Everyone hopes there won't be a repeat of last year's incident in which an inrate Dick Vermeil yelled that he wanted a Vikings player "taken out and shot in the head" after a hard tackle that injured a Chiefs wide receiver.
* The Vikings placed WR Kenny Clark on injured reserve with a bulging disc in his back.
* Tight end Jermaine Wiggins suffered a mildly separated shoulder but isn't expected to miss a lot of practice time.
* The team officially signed center Billy Conaty to fill in for the injured Matt Birk and also signed CB Reggie Austin.
* The team cut QB Matt Kegel, bringing them down to the three QBs they intend to enter the season with.

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