Backfield Injuries Create Opportunities

In a league where coaches can't afford to wait on injured players, the healthiest ones often get a chance. While the Vikings had some encouraging injury news Tuesday, they will get another long look at their backup hopefuls Friday.

Ciatrick Fason making the 53-man roster was never really in question, but injuries to Michael Bennett and Mewelde Moore are still looking like they will force Fason into a starting role Friday … even if Fason is playing through his own pain.

Fason suffered a sprained ankle against the New York Jets in Week 2 of the preseason. Originally, that injury was thought to be a high ankle sprain. Now that he's on his way back to playing two weeks later, that injury is being termed mild.

His recovery isn't the only encouraging one in Vikings camp.

"Fason looks to be coming around pretty good," head coach Mike Tice said Tuesday. "Michael (Bennett) probably in all honesty, if this was a regular-season game, would play Friday night. He's coming along pretty quickly. That will to heal is a funny thing. Mewelde is not too bad. He's sore. We could possibly have all of them back by Monday, which would be nice. Certainly, it looks encouraging to have them all back by Wednesday."

Depending on Fason's production Friday in Seattle, the backfield rotation will create an interesting dilemma as the Vikings begin preparations for their regular-season opener next week.

Moore was running well last Friday when he injured his ankle on a questionable tackle. Bennett's strained neck is healing faster than Tice had originally anticipated.

"I thought early on, obviously by my comments that Mike was going to be a little longer," Tice said. "We are on the same page, Michael and I. I think that everyone is so bored right now, we are looking for some kind of controversy or some kind of story and we tried to create one there. I don't feel that it is anything but an inconvenience.

"If Fason wasn't able to go Friday night, which he will be, then it would have been a little more than an inconvenience, then we probably would have had to do something waiver wire-wise immediately. Because we were encouraged by Fason yesterday, I don't think that we are going to be in that immediacy mode."

Moore's injury and the precautionary approach with Bennett will mean more playing time for backups Butchie Wallace and Adimchinobe Echemandu, who could be a in a battle for a fifth spot at running back. Moe Williams will continue his role as the third-down and short-yardage back.

Viking Update Top Stories