Liwienski Benching Ends Streak

Chris Liwienski has started every game since before Mike Tice was head coach. Monday night, he may well be in street clothes, as Tice makes another offensive line switch that would end a 75-game starting streak.

The Vikings' offensive line carousel continues.

Coach Mike Tice, who coached the offensive when Chris Liwienski first came to the team, has made an example of Liwienski by not only pulling him out of the starting lineup, but potentially de-activating him for Monday's game with the Packers.

When asked about Toniu Fonoti starting and Liwienski's role, Tice said that he wasn't going to keep nine offensive linemen active and told reporters to "do the math." With Anthony Herrera expected to be active, Liwienski would seem to be the odd man out.

Fonoti, who came to the team weighing 404 pounds, is now down to 386, but his lack of familiarity with the Vikings offense seems to be outweighed by Tice's dissatisfaction with Liwienski's play.

The defensive line doesn't want to practice against him," said Tice of Fonoti, who has made a habit of referring to as a beast. "Does he know the offense? No. But what is different right now based on what I'm seeing on tape? We might as well throw him in there and see how it goes."

If Liwienski is de-activated, it will end a string of 75 consecutive starts.

* Nate Burleson practiced Friday and, after looking like he may not play Monday as recently as Thursday, now the team is quietly optimistic that not only will he play, but he will start and remain in the game until told otherwise.
* Tice is playing the "don't ask" card at center. Melvin Fowler, who replaced Cory Withrow as the starting center, is slow in recovering from "nicks" and Withrow took most of the snaps with the first-team offense Friday. Who will start will be a game-time decision.
* The Packers had hoped that WR Robert Ferguson would return for Monday's game. Ferguson sprained a knee ligament in the first meeting this year between the teams and, as he was expected to make his first in-game return since, he was carted off the field at the Packers practice facility Friday with an injury to the same knee – likely ending his season.
* The NFL fined Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora $7,500 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Brad Johnson last Sunday.

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