Smith Victim of Numbers Game

Just when it looked like Raonall Smith was ready to return to the lineup, problems elsewhere resulted in Smith being placed on injured reserve Tuesday.

The Vikings have been forced to play thin at linebacker for the last six weeks, after Raonall Smith sustained a second concussion in three weeks that resulted in severe headaches and trips to see specialists that deal with post-concussion disorders.

But the hammer fell Tuesday, not because of any setback by Smith, but needs elsewhere. With Ralph Brown sustaining a fracture near the orbit of his eye socket, the team needed to add another defensive back. Instead of cutting Derek Ross, which would still leave the team shorthanded at CB, Smith was placed on injured reserve and is lost for the remainder of the season.

* Brown is expected to miss up to three weeks with his eye injury.
* Mike Tice ended his business relationship with his agent Danny More Tuesday. In a strange twist, the Vikings contract language on the final option year of Tice's contract calls for him to be notified by Jan. 1. Because of the late start to the NFL season, Jan. 1 comes before the Week 17 games. The team is asking for Tice to extend the notification period until after the final regular season game.
* Antoine Winfield suffered a setback in his rehab of his ailing ankle and VU has been told he will almost surely miss Sunday's game with the Lions.
* VU has also been told that, despite grading out fairly well last Sunday, Chris Hovan may be heading back to the inactive list this week.

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