Vikings-Panthers Player Notes

The Vikings came out of their win Sunday against the Packers relatively unscathed, but a few more roles are being defined. The Panthers, meanwhile, are hoping to return a number of key injured players against the Vikings following their bye. Find out who practiced Monday and who is hoping to return later in the week.


  • K Paul Edinger's 56-yard field goal as time ran out Sunday was the second-longest game-winning field goal in NFL history, behind only Tom Dempsey's 63-yarder for New Orleans in 1970.

  • Ciatrick Fason was active on Sunday, and would have been used in third-and-1 situations if the Vikings had had any.

  • LB Dontarrious Thomas, whom the Vikings use in their nickel defense, hopes to return Sunday after missing the Green Bay game because of a bruised right shoulder. "I think it is realistic," to return, Thomas said. "The one thing we were worried about is my strength, and it's coming along really good."

  • WR Nate Burleson, who caught three passes Sunday after missing three games because of a sprained left knee, said he received treatment Monday and felt "pretty good."

  • CB Fred Smoot did such a good job on Packers receiver Donald Driver in the second half Sunday that it wouldn't be surprising to see Smoot assigned to more No. 1 receivers regardless of where they line up. Driver had six receptions in the first half and only two in the second with Smoot on him.

  • RB Moe Williams, usually a key goal-line and third-down back, continues to battle a knee injury. His role has been reduced to a blocking back on third down.


  • P Brad Maynard, questionable for the game with a strained right calf, kicked seven times for a mediocre 35.9-yard net average, but two of his punts were downed inside the Ravens' 10-yard line.

  • DE Julius Peppers did not practice on Monday because of a broken bone in his hand, but said he will practice Wednesday, and said there's no way the injury will keep him out Sunday. Peppers said he broke the bone in the middle finger near the base of the hand.

  • RB DeShaun Foster did not practice again Monday. He has missed the last two weeks of work because of a knee injury.

  • WR Steve Smith is hoping to continue his torrid pace after the bye week. Smith has 39 receptions for 596 yards and seven touchdowns through six games and could be headed to his second Pro Bowl, but his first as a receiver. Smith made it as a return man as a rookie in 2001.

  • LB Dan Morgan was back at practice on Monday wearing a shoulder harness to protect his dislocated shoulder. Morgan hopes to play Sunday against the Vikings.


    Former Vikings WR Randy Moss, who suffered a bruised ribs, a groin strain and a pelvic bruise the previous week as a member of the Oakland Raiders against San Diego, was listed as "doubtful" all week before playing on Sunday. Only in rare instances have Raiders players listed as "doubtful" ended up playing on Sunday.

    "Wednesday, I would have said he was very, very doubtful," coach Norv Turner said. "I thought Friday there was a chance, but Saturday morning I would have said no. He went out Sunday morning and said he was excited about the way he felt, so we plotted out a plan how we'd use him."

    Moss may not be full strength against Tennessee this Sunday, but sitting out the second half against Buffalo while the Raiders ran the ball and worked the clock prevented further injury.

    "Randy is no worse than he was," Turner said. "I think each day he'll continue getting better."

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