Entering this season, huge things were expected from Michael Bennett. After all, he had been the focal point of the running game in 2002 when he broke out and had a monster season.
Now, after what technically is a fourth injury in two years — a foot problem that required two surgeries last year and a recurrence of his knee injury requiring another surgery Monday — the question needs to be asked: How much can the Vikings depend on Bennett?
This latest setback has eyes rolling and heads shaking. It's painfully reminiscent of Robert Smith. For the better part of his first five years, Smith couldn't finish a 16-game season. Often the result of freak injuries like catching sideline turf after running out of bounds, Smith had the tag of being injury-prone. It was so pronounced that, when he became a free agent, only the Chiefs showed interest but wouldn't offer a big contract — forcing Smith to come back to the only person who believed in him (Denny Green).
You get much the same sense with Bennett. Mike Tice has stood behind him and called him "my guy" through all his injury problems. In the case of Green, Smith would eventually reward his patience with three huge seasons from 1998-2000. Will Bennett do the same for Tice? We may have to wait at least one more year to find out.
* The Vikings already have two Monday night games scheduled but may end up with as many as four. If the Twins continue winning and advance to the World Series, at least one game and possibly two would have to be moved to Monday night. The current schedule for the Series has Games 2 and 7 in the American League city Oct. 24 and 31 — both scheduled home games for the Vikings vs. Tennessee and New York. VU has been told that if a conflict does arise with those dates, the Vikings could move their games to Monday night.
* E.J. Henderson is ruled out of Sunday's game and it appears the knee injury that was first thought to simply be a MCL strain is both an ACL and MCL strain.
* The Vikings will look to end Houston's winning streak — the first in franchise history — at two games Sunday.
Is Bennett Injury-Prone?
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