Vikings Break Camp, Head To Atlanta

With the promise of big things to come this season, the Vikings broke camp at Mankato this morning -- returning to Minneapolis for a flight to Atlanta.

Sounding more like a warden than a coach, Mike Tice discussed the end of the Mankato leg of the team's training camp by keeping the team in place.

When asked about the team's potential move back to Minneapolis Wednesday for a flight out to Atlanta today, Tice said the players were "under lockdown" for the night and that putting them up in a hotel in Minneapolis Wednesday night "didn't sound like the best idea."

Perhaps Tice knows his team better than most, but leaving Mankato is always the sign of the next level of preparation for the season. After this weekend, the first series of cuts will be made -- effectively ending the careers of several players -- making Mankato the last happy memory many of them will have.

The Vikings will continue to maintain a training camp practice schedule, but it will shift to the team's headquarters at Winter Park.

* The injuries in the secondary keep piling up. Safety Brian Russell sat out of Tuesday's passing scrimmage as a precaution. Russell is suffering from an abdominal strain.
* The Vikings head to Atlanta with 80 players on the roster -- three less than the league allows. The Vikings were one player under their limit of 83 (three players are exempt spots for participating in NFL Europe) before Tuesday night, when they cut QB Matt Kegel and WR Tony Johnson.
* Ken Irvin is being asked to play in a lot of misery. He was excused from practice earlier this week after suffering three deaths in his family in the span of one week -- an aunt and two cousins. He will make the trip to Atlanta and will start in place of injured Brian Williams at cornerback.
* When President Bush made a campaign stop in Mankato earlier this month, it caused a lot of headaches for the Vikings. He didn't stop at training camp, but because of security precautions, traffic was bottled up for hours in and around Mankato. Bush again will have an affect of the Vikes Sept. 2 -- the preseason finale vs. the Seahawks. The game is going to be televised at the same time Bush is expected to make his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention -- forcing Hubbard Broadcasting, which owns the Twin Cities ABC affiliate -- to move the game from its spot on Channel 5 to its sister station KSTC Channel 45.

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