Injuries Mounting Up

The MASH list for the Vikings simply continues to grow as the numbers continue to deplete and the team heads into a much needed bye week.

The injury virus that has run amok among the Vikings players this season continued to grow as the team found itself shorthanded once again this week -- with the MASH list of casualties continuing to grow.

Before the season even started, the Vikings lost Michael Bennett -- he still hasn't returned to action -- and Matt Birk for almost the entire preseason.

In Week 1 of the regular season, the Vikings lost cornerback Ken Irvin before the season even began. In that game with the Cowboys, Jim Kleinsasser got hurt seriously and Moe Williams was essentially put on the shelf for two weeks.

In Week 2, the Vikings lost right tackle Mike Rosenthal for the season and TE Jermaine Wiggins for 2-4 weeks. Later in the week we learned Kleinsasser was gone for the season.

In Week 3, the hits just kept on coming. Birk is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with an ankle injury, linebacker Chris Claiborne is also expected to be on the shelf for two weeks or more and middle linebacker E.J. Henderson is out a minimum of four weeks and perhaps longer.

Is there a connection to the rash of season-ending injuries this year? If there is, the Vikings would appreciate somebody letting them know before the entire team is sidelined.

* The Vikings are far from alone when it comes to the injury plague. The Bears lost QB Rex Grossman with a broken leg against the Vikings, former Viking Rich Gannon is out six weeks with a cervical spine injury and the Bucs' hopes of a playoff run may have gone up in smoke when RB Charlie Garner was lost for the season. Oy vey.
* The Vikings expect at least six of the opening-day starters won't be available for the next game vs. the Texans.
* Mike Tice praised the play of Dontarrious Thomas. Benched earlier in the week, Thomas was forced into duty at middle linebacker -- a position he hadn't played since college and rarely even practiced at -- when Henderson went down. Tice said, for the lack of experience at the position, he did a fine job. He was pressed into duty because Tice deactivated linebacker Rod Davis, who is Henderson's primary backup, for being late to a special teams meeting. Midway through the first half, Tice was regretting that decision.
* The Colts may have given the blueprint for how to beat the Packers. In the first quarter of their game with the Pack, Indy didn't rush a single time. During the first 23 plays, Peyton Manning dropped to pass. The result? By halftime he had more than 300 yards and five TDs.

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