Smoot Injury Shuffles Deck

The loss of Fred Smoot to a broken collarbone is just the latest in a series of injuries to Vikings starters that will require a shuffling of positions and responsibilities for players that were previously backups.

When Fred Smoot went down on the sidelines last Sunday in clear pain, there was some belief that he might be embellishing his injury after a rough couple of weeks. As it turns out, Smoot wasn't a good actor after all.

MRI results Wednesday confirmed that Smoot has a broken collarbone and will be sidelined a minimum of four weeks and possibly six. The Vikings expect Smoot to return, so at this point, there's no plan to put him on injured reserve.

In his place, the Vikings will return Brian Williams, who held out of minicamp after being knocked out of the starting role, into Smoot's vacated position.

With Williams in the starting lineup, Ralph Brown gets elevated to the nickel back, with Dovonte Edwards as the dime back and Laroni Gallishaw as the fifth corner.

THURSDAY NOTES
* Mike Tice said that there shouldn't be a parallel drawn between the release of Ken Irvin earlier this week and the injury to Smoot. Tice said Irvin was strictly a safety and wouldn't have been shifted to corner had he still been on the roster. Irvin was released when the Vikings signed No. 3 quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan.
* Daunte Culpepper is scheduled to have surgery in the next week or so and has selected renowned orthapedist James Andrews, who has become something of the surgeon to the stars in the last decade, to perform the surgery.
* There is still no commitment from Tice as to who will be his starting running back, although Mewelde Moore said he's ready and expects to start. Moore, who wore a splint on his injured right wrist in practice Wednesday is listed as probable, but Tice hasn't announced whether he or Michael Bennett will get the starting nod Sunday.
* Moe Williams didn't finish practice Wednesday with a knee problem and is listed as doubtful.
* Also on the Vikings injury report is DL Spencer Johnson, who returned to action last week but is listed as doutful with a knee injury. If he can't go, the Vikings will turn to rookie nose tackle C.J. Mosley.
* The Giants have three key defensive players listed on their injury report. CB William Peterson (back) is out and two others -- LB Carlos Emmons (pectoral strain) and safety Shaun Williams (hamstring) are listed as doubtful.

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