Birk To Start?

With the Vikings participating in their last practice before Sunday's game, Mike Tice still hasn't decided who will start at center.

Mike Tice has been doing a lot of lineup shifting this week -- some by choice, some by force. But one position that still remains up in the air is center. Matt Birk, who practiced Thursday, said he's ready to go. But Tice isn't as positive.

Saying that, as of Thursday, he was inclined to go with the player who has practiced all week, which would be Cory Withrow, Tice said he hasn't made a final decision yet.

Birk, who had never missed a game prior to this season due to injury, likely will be part of a game-time decision. But, he will be far from alone (see below). As for Withrow, he has been considered a valuable member of the Vikings team whose only problem has been playing behind a Pro Bowl center.

Unlike some other positions on the team that have a huge dropoff after the starters, the Vikings should be fine if either Birk or Withrow starts.

* Randy Moss was added to the injury list with an ankle, but Tice said he will definitely play Sunday. He apparently rolled his ankle during introduction during the Dallas game.
* Chris Hovan and Steve Martin continued to share reps in practice Thursday. If Martin gets the start it will snap a 47-game starting streak for Hovan. For his part, Hovan was upgraded from questionable to probable Thursday.
* VU has been told that Raonall Smith has the edge over Mike Nattiel to start at weakside linebacker this week.
* Moe Williams will test out his strained calf in practice today. Tice has said Williams will play this weekend, but to what extent hasn't been determined.

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