Cowart to Start Sunday

After missing last week's game in which the Vikings defense surrendered more than 500 yards, Sam Cowart is expected back in the starting lineup Sunday.

Sam Cowart was brought into Minnesota to provide veteran leadership to arguably the weakest position on the Vikings team. When he went down in the opener, it caused a shuffling of roles with the team, moving second-year man Rod Davis into the starting role and, when E.J. Henderson went down, put Dontarrious Thomas back into the starting lineup.

But Cowart proclaimed himself ready to go Thursday, backing it up by taking part in the entire practice session in preparation for the Saints Sunday.

Barring a setback, Cowart is expected to be in the starting lineup -- although as a precaution, the team will likely spell him on specific downs and distances to keep him fresh and reduce the chance of a recurrance of the injury.

* How critical is Sunday's game? Since 1990, 74 teams have begun the season 0-3. Of those, just three have made the playoffs.
* Watch out for TE Ernie Conwell Sunday. In the last 13 games, the Vikings have allowed opposing tight ends to score 14 touchdowns.
* The Vikings have just two sacks through two games.
* Defensive end Lance Johnstone was added to the injury report after tweaking a hamstring in practice. But, he is listed as probable and expected to play.
* Mewelde Moore had a 100-yard rushing game last season vs. the Saints and is a native of Louisiana.
* A Cardinals executive told an Arizona newspaper that the trade discussions concerning Michael Bennett were initiated by the Vikings.

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