Conway In, Elling Out

After a couple of nights to think it over, Mike Tice made the decision many anticipated he would following Friday's game -- releasing kicker Aaron Elling.

When Doug Brien lost a game for the Vikings two years ago, Mike Tice was quick and decisive -- releasing the kicker before he had a chance to screw up again.

Many, including VU, expected a similar fate for kicker Aaron Elling following an abysmal performance Friday against the 49ers. The other shoe officially dropped Tuesday as the team released Elling and signed Brett Conway.

Conway, an eight-year veteran who came to the league as a third-round draft pick of the Packers, was expected to be the Packers kicker for years to come. But an injury opened the door for Ryan Longwell and the rest was history in Packerland. Conway went on to play for four more teams, including the Giants and Browns last year.

Conway has a very strong leg, but has been plagued with more injuries than just about any kicker in the league this side of Joe Nedney.

The two-year contract is expected to be finalized today and Conway will be the only kicker on the roster as the team leaves today for its game Thursday against the Seahawks.

* As reported earlier this week by VU, the initial prognosis that RB Michael Bennett would miss just the season opener vs. the Cowboys was a bit optimistic. Bennett has a history of slow recovery from injuries and now the possibility exists that Bennett, like last year, will be held back until after the bye week and return Oct. 10 vs. the Texans.
Tice confirmed Tuesday that the second-degree right MCL sprain that Bennett suffered vs. the 49ers is likely going to shelve him for a few games. With Onterrio Smith expected to be gone until the Oct. 17 Sunday night game at New Orleans, it was hoped Bennett would be back for the Week 2 matchup vs. the Eagles. But Tice is now leaning toward trying to get Bennett some time in the Bears game Week 3 and not give him a full starter's workload until Week 5 coming off the bye.
Until Bennett returns, Moe Williams will start with Mewelde Moore as his primary backup.

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