The cameo appearance of the starters in the third quarter of the Vikings win over the 49ers Friday was supposed to be like running a drill -- get a series that includes the halftime cooldown and the coaching adjustments.
On one play, the drill turned into panic, as both Michael Bennett and Bryant McKinnie went down hard to the turf. At first, it looked as McKinnie was unconscious -- drawing immediate attention from the medical staff.
As it turned out, Bennett was the worse for wear. After an initial diagnosis that neither player was seriously injured, an MRI conducted Saturday showed the Bennett suffered a second degree sprain of medial collateral ligament. The early prognosis is that he will miss the regular season opener vs. the Cowboys. VU is being told that is optimistic and that he may be lost for two or three regular season games and, if he returns before that, he is risking more lasting effects from the injury.
With Onterrio Smith gone for the first four games of the regular season, the opening-day starting job again falls to Moe Williams -- bumping rookie Mewelde Moore into the role of No. 2 back. That may change the staff's plans about having Moore return kickoffs.
Needless to say, this isn't a happy day at Winter Park. But, that is why teams like the Dolphins are scrambling for answers at running back and the Vikings bite down hard and say "two down, two still to go."
Bennett MRI Comes Back Bad
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