Burleson, Williams Out; Newman In

As the Vikings settle in for their final practices before resuming the 2005 season, head coach Mike Tice gave word that two starters are out and another has been supplanted.

The Vikings envisioned a starting lineup at the beginning of the year that would be one of the most of the impressive in the NFC. But it included Matt Birk, who is gone for the season, Nate Burleson, who has been injured much of the season, several other players who have missed all or parts of games and Michael Bennett, who played his way out of a starting role.

On Wednesday, Mike Tice announced that Burleson and CB Brian Williams would miss another week and added that LB Keith Newman, who has been one of the few bright spots so far this season, will start Sunday.

Williams replaces Napoleon Harris, a player acquired in the trade that sent Randy Moss to the Raiders. Harris is expected to split time with Dontarrious Thomas in nickel packages.

THURSDAY NOTES
* A list of 17 Vikings players has been turned over to authorities investigating last week's incident on Lake Minnetonka. One player who admitted being on the boat was RB Mewelde Moore, but he denied that there was any wrongdoing.
* As if the Vikings didn't have enough depth problems at DE with the loss of Kenechi Udeze, the team likely won't have Spencer Johnson for Sunday's game.
* At the end of his weekly talk show Wednesday, it's being reported that Tice guaranteed a win Sunday vs. the Bears. Considering he's never won there on the road, that could be a statement that comes back to bite him.
* Moe Williams was again hobbled at practice, wearing an ice bag on his knee and is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game.
* Previously injured starters Darren Sharper, E.J. Henderson and Lance Johnstone are all set to return to the lineup Sunday barring any last-minute setbacks.
* Tice hinted that, if he has a solid couple of days of practice, Melvin Fowler could well replace Cory Withrow as the starter -- again making Withrow one of the top backup centers in the league.
* The Bears will debut kicker Robbie Gould Sunday after releasing former Viking Doug Brien.

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