Birk, Elling Out, RB Lee In

Injuries continue to haunt the Vikings, effectively shutting down their new cornerback, ending the season for an All-Pro, deciding the team's kicker duel and filling out the RB corps for the final preseason game.

Injuries are a part of the game in the NFL, but Tuesday was a strange homage to the power of injuries and how they can affect a team.

Thanks to coach Mike Tice's decision to rest both Michael Bennett and Mewelde Moore for Friday's preseason finale, the team signed RB ReShard Lee, cut loose by Buffalo last weekend. To make room for Lee on the roster, the team placed Matt Birk on I.R. -- ending any speculation that he might have his surgery and return for a stretch run in November and December.

In addition, Fred Smoot won't play Friday after jamming his sore right knee in a red zone drill at Winter Park. The injury isn't supposed to be serious, but continues a trend of Smoot missing time on the practice field.

The Vikings also ruled out Aaron Elling for Friday's game, which all but hands the starting kicking job to Paul Edinger. Elling, who has been sidelined with a hip strain, could be put on I.R. or released -- which would open him up to sign with another team.

And some people wonder why teams don't play their starters that much in the preseason. Even when you don't, the injuries can pile up.

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