Vikes Near Injury-Free

After a season with mounting injuries that threatened to derail the Vikings season, the team is as healthy now as it's been since August.

At his Monday press conference, Mike Tice mentioned something that he hasn't had the luxury of most of the year -- the relative health of his team. After seemingly having injuries piling up one on top of the next, Tice said the team finally has a clean bill of health.

"The training room was as empty as I've seen it all year," Tice said. "This is as close as we've been to having all our guys that we've had all year."

One of the last lingering injuries was Nate Burleson, who missed three games before playing Sunday vs. the Packers. He said he feels like he's as close to 100 percent as he's going to be.

The Vikings can use all the healthy bodies they can get. They face the Panthers this week -- the second straight week they have to face a team coming out of its bye week.

* Tice apologized for comments he made about front office personnel second-guessing his decision to let the clock run with one minute to play in regulation instead of taking the team's final timeout. After the game, Tice insinuated that the front office types should mind their own business and leave clock management to him.
* Dontarrious Thomas is expected back playing this week.
* The team ran 10 offensive plays with an empty backfield -- designed to give Daunte Culpepper better reads in the passing game.
* The team is bringing in former Bears offensive lineman Marc Colombo for a workout today.

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