Vikings-Eagles Personnel Preview

While the Vikings are looking for an end to "Moongate," they also have to be cautious with Randy Moss' ankle injury. The Eagles, meanwhile, have only one key injury they are concerned about.


Moongate won't go away.

Just when it seemed all of the controversy over Randy Moss bending over and pretending to pull his pants down after a touchdown catch in Sunday's 31-17 wild-card win at Green Bay was starting to tail off, it began to stir again.

On Wednesday, Vikings owner Red McCombs asked Fox Sports to remove play-by-play announcer Joe Buck from the broadcast of Sunday's divisional playoff game between the Vikings and Eagles. In a statement released by the Vikings, McCombs said Buck's critical comments of Moss, "suggested a prejudice that surpassed objective reporting."

Buck called Moss' celebration "disgusting" and also apologized to viewers for showing it.

Fox quickly issued its full support of Buck and said he won't be removed from the broadcast.

Then Thursday arrived and the NFL announced it had fined Moss $10,000 for the fake moon shot. NFL Director of Game Operations Peter Hadhazy referred to the incident as "unsportsmanlike conduct" in a formal letter to Moss.

"Your actions were based on poor judgment, did not reflect well on you or the Vikings, and were insulting to many," Hadhazy wrote. "... Fans should look to you and your teammates to see how to compete and win in football. But when you lose your focus on playing and engage in sideshows as you did on Sunday, you forfeit much of this."

That should be the end of it. Of course, the Vikings play again on Sunday.

Don't be surprised if Moss does something even worse out of spite for the NFL.


  • WR Randy Moss missed practice again on Thursday because of a sprained right ankle. He typically takes Fridays off, so it's possible he will not have practiced all week when he steps on the field Sunday. Moss is still listed as probable. There's very little chance he won't play. But his effectiveness might suffer.

  • Coach Mike Tice is now saying he probably will activate RB Moe Williams, who hasn't practice this week because of a sprained right ankle. Don't look for Williams to play much if he is active.

  • SS Corey Chavous (fractured left elbow) won't play this week, but the Vikings aren't ruling him out for the NFC Championship Game if they beat the Eagles on Sunday.

  • CB Antoine Winfield was named league defensive player of the week for the wild-card round. He had 11 tackles, all solo, and an interception as the Vikings upset Green Bay 31-17 at Lambeau Field.

  • WR Kelly Campbell (shoulder) practiced on Thursday and is expected to play Sunday. He isn't expected to return kicks.

  • LB Mike Nattiel (shoulder) practiced Thursday and should be able to assume his duties on special teams.


    Weak-side linebacker Mark Simoneau wasn't able to practice again Thursday and continued to be listed as doubtful for Sunday's divisional playoff contest against the Minnesota Vikings.

    "He knew it was going to be close," defensive coordinator Jim Johnson said. "I don't know how bad it is. It's not ready to full speed right now. We were hoping day by day (it would get better). But it hasn't quite healed up as fast as I thought it would."

    If Simoneau can't play, Keith Adams will start in his place, with former starter Nate Wayne backing Adams up.

    "Nate will be ready," Johnson said. "He'll be playing some in nickel. And we always have Ike (Reese) available too, so we'll probably go with that rotation."

    Asked what the defense loses if Simoneau can't play, Johnson said, "Your starting WILL linebacker has to be a very good tackler, and he was playing the position well. But Keith will step up and take his place."

    If Adams starts, he'll be used less on special teams.

    "I think you'll see all of the linebackers playing special teams to one degree or another," said special teams coordinator John Harbaugh. "We'll balance their reps."


  • LB Mark Simoneau didn't practice again Thursday and still is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Vikings. Simoneau has a high ankle sprain.

  • LB Keith Adams again took most of the snaps at weak-side linebacker with the No. 1 defense Thursday. Adams is expected to be the starting WILL linebacker with Mark Simoneau sidelined with a high ankle sprain.

  • LB Nate Wayne, who lost his starting job at weak-side linebacker in November and then missed six of the last eight games with a hamstring injury, won't start Sunday against the Vikings, even if the man who replaced him can't go because of a high ankle sprain. If Simoneau can't play, Keith Adams will start and Wayne will back him up.

  • LDE Jevon Kearse had just 1.5 sacks in his last seven starts, but he heads into the playoffs feeling as good as he has all season. He didn't play in either of the Eagles' final two meaningless regular-season games, and then the Eagles had a bye last week.

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