Land of the Lost

The Vikings will open their first minicamp this weekend, but many of the players viewed as keys to their success in 2005 will be sidelined or extremely limited.

It's a good thing the general public doesn't attend minicamp or pay for the privilege (all in good time). If they did, some would surely be looking for a refund, since several of the team's top players wouldn't be on the field.

VU has been told that six of the team's top players will be sidelined or severely limited in their duties at minicamp, which opens this weekend.

Four players recovering from surgery will not participate at all. DT Kevin Williams is still recovering from minor knee surgery. WR Nate Burleson recently had surgery on his right middle finger (insert your own joke here). C Matt Birk once again is sidelined following surgery to hopefully finally repair a sports hernia injury suffered last year during training camp that flared up again during the season and required a second surgery. And WR Marcus Robinson had surgery to have a cyst removed from behind his left knee.

In addition to those four players, two others -- TE Jim Kleinsasser and OT Mike Rosenthal -- will both participate in individual drills but not full workouts. Both suffered season-ending injuries early in the 2004 season.

* The Vikings typically haven't had their first minicamp until two weeks following the draft, but moved up their schedule to this weekend. They are far from alone -- 26 of the NFL's 32 teams are conducting their minicamps this weekend.
* As if things haven't been difficult enough for the Packers with losing their starting guards and safeties to salary cap-related cuts, star RB Ahman Green was arrested early Tuesday on a charge of domestic violence after a hang-up 911 call was responded to at his Green Bay home. The Packers are not commenting on the matter.

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