Injuries Remain Key For Sunday

The Vikings prepare for their final practice before heading to Cincinnati not knowing if a couple of their most key positional personnel will be ready to play.

The Vikings spent much of Thursday's practice looking at options. Who would play at left tackle and middle linebacker -- arguably the two most important positions on the field outside of quarterback.

At left tackle, the Vikings got a boost from the return of Bryant McKinnie to practice. McKinnie played through about half of the practice and was upgraded from questionable to probable on the injury report.

The news wasn't as good as linebacker, where Sam Cowart missed another day of practice and was again replaced by rookie Rod Davis. To complicate matters, backup LB Dontarrious Thomas was added to the injury report with a calf strain. He is listed as probable.

If Cowart or McKinnie can't play, it might open up a better opportunity for Koren Robinson to be activated and used as a return man in the kicking game. The Vikings have struggled in kick and punt returns throughout the Tice Administration and it is hoped that Robinson can be the full-time answer to the problem, but his availability for Sunday remains up in the air.

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