Injuries Continue to Mount

The Vikings were forced inside by the unusually cold late April weather, but the injury bug continued to take a bite of the starting lineup at practice Saturday.

Traditionally, minicamp is a time when young players and new free-agent signees get their first chance to shine with their new teams, but it appears as though the Vikings will have to wait until training camp to get a full look at the new squad. Thanks to a pair of injuries, nine of the 22 projected starters were sidelined.

Darren Sharper (leg) and Napoleon Harris (hamstring) were added to the list of walking wounded that missed practice time Saturday. While it doesn't raise any red flags or alarms, it would have been nice to see how the new guys would mesh with the current cast, but now it looks like we'll have to wait a little longer.

* Ken Irvin sat out a second straight day of practice in protest of a team request that he voluntarily reduce his salary.
* Marcus Johnson got time at both left guard and right tackle Saturday, leading some to speculate that he may not be anointed as the starting LG and could battle Mike Rosenthal in training camp for his tackle spot.
* Raonall Smith displaced Donatarrious Thomas with the first-team defense Saturday at the Will linebacker position.
* Erasmus James worked out with the first-team defense Saturday and matched up with Bryant McKinnie much of the day.
* Troy Williamson had his first highlight of minicamp, bursting off the line past Fred Smoot in what turned out to be a 70-yard reception.
* Injuries haven't been confined to the Vikings. First-round picks Mark Clayton and Pac Man Jones both suffered injuries Saturday in their first minicamps.

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