Smoot Out About a Month

An injury once thought to be minor will sideline cornerback Fred Smoot for about a month.

Following the Vikings' 27-14 win over the Detroit Lions, head coach Mike Tice said Sunday he thought the only significant injury was a sprained wrist on running back Mewelde Moore.

As it turns out, Moore might play, but cornerback Fred Smoot will not be available Sunday and probably will miss a month's worth of action. Smoot exited Sunday's game early in the fourth quarter but returned before the end of the game. Originally listed a strained right shoulder, the Vikings announced today that he suffered a small fracture in his collarbone and is expected to miss three to six weeks.

"That will set us back some," Tice said. "He got hit after a play and he finished the game with the injury. It's a terrible setback for us and our defense."

Smoot was at Winter Park Wednesday wearing a sling.

Nickel back Brian Williams will start in Smoot's place, with Ralph Brown moving into the nickel role. A pair of rookie free agents will see more action. Dovonte Edwards is expected to be the dime back and Laroni Gallishaw likely will be active on special teams and available in emergency duty in the defensive backfield.

Tice said the Vikings expect Smoot back before the end of the season.

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