Irvin Lost For The Season

The Vikings suffered their first serious loss of the regular season Sunday when cornerback Ken Irvin ruptured his Achilles tendon during pregame warmups and will be lost for the season.

Following yesterday's 35-17 win, Mike Tice was speaking to the media and was asked about some of the heavy hits Vikings defenders were laying on the Cowboys late in the game. He said, "There's only two things in the NFL you know you're going to have -- injuries and big hits."

The Vikings suffered an injury Sunday that could be a big hit when it was announced that cornerback Ken Irvin would be lost for the season. Irvin, who was slated to play nickel back and start in place of injured Brian Williams, ruptured his Achilles tendon during pregame warmups. An early theory speculated his foot planted badly on one of the seams in the new turf that are the base areas during baseball games.

While Irvin wasn't projected as a starter, his injury showed the lack of depth the Vikings have in the secondary. Rushen Jones took over at the nickel spot and was burned badly on a touchdown pass to Terry Glenn and, with Jones banged up himself, Rhett Nelson has been thrust into the spotlight.

It almost makes you wish Mike Tice wasn't so willing to let Denard Walker go when his agent started squacking last spring.

* The Vikings weren't the only team hit with injuries. More than a half dozen other teams lost starters for the season, including Detroit's Charles Rogers breaking his collarbone for the second time in six NFL games and Philadelphia rookie Shawn Andrews, whom the Eagles moved ahead of the Vikings to take in the first round of last April's draft.
* The defensive coaches have to be a little concerned about the yardage the Cowboys were able to generate against the Vikings. As happened last year, sub-standard NFL quarterbacks torched the Vikings. Vinny Testaverde fired up a Week 1 best 355 yards. In all, seven players had 100 or more yards receiving and two of them were Cowboys -- Keyshawn Johnson (111 yards) and Antonio Bryant (112). And Glenn wasn't far behind with 84 yards and a touchdown.
* It now looks like the NFL won't rule on Onterrio Smith's appeal of his four-game suspension until the Vikings bye week.
* Morten Andersen is expected to be pulled from kickoff duties, which means Irvin's roster spot may well be taken -- for now anyway -- by Travis Dorsch, who would serve as the team's kickoff specialist.
* Kenny Mixon has one game remaining on his suspension. The team got a nice rotation at defensive end Sunday, using Kenechi Udeze, Chuck Wiley and Lance Johnstone to fill the void left by Mixon's absence.

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