"We're probably the biggest left side in the league right now," McKinnie said. "It'll be fun."
Judging from McKinnie's height and Fonoti's thick frame (his calves look like the size of a child's neck), McKinnie's assessment might be right. But size doesn't have anything to do with communication, which is McKinnie's biggest concern with an unfamiliar player next to him.
"Just passing off the games (stunts) and stuff like that," McKinnie said.
Head coach Mike Tice said that while Fonoti is a big man, his body fat isn't bad.
"That is a big guy. We put him under water and his body fat is excellent. It is not that bad. If I told you how good it was you would die. His body fat is better than some of the other linemen we have. He is just a big guy," Tice said.
In fact, Fonoti's weight brought out a few jokes from Tice. When asked if it's really that difficult for a 386-pounder to lose a few pounds to get to a good playing weight, Tice responded with the quote of the week.
"It is like taking a deck chair off the Queen Mary, it's not that big of a deal," Tice said. "Losing twelve pounds is like the captain telling you to take a suitcase off a 747 – it is not that big of a factor."
Anthony Herrera, who was an undrafted rookie last year, is expected to back up both guard positions, but he likes what he has seen from Fonoti so far.
"He brings an aggressiveness – ‘I don't care who's across from me, I'm going to do my best to knock you out.' That's what he brings to the table," Herrera said of Fonoti.
The Fonoti vs. Pat Williams matchup in practices will be something to see in full pads, especially when Fonoti's hand is able to shed its wad of protective padding and tape.
"(Fonoti) was a second-rounder. He's been in the league for a while and Pat's been in the league for a while. I'm pretty sure he did alright," Herrera said of the matchup.
McKinnie figured it would take about six games to really become comfortable with Fonoti next him. Incidentally, if Fonoti remains the starter for three games, the draft pick the Vikings traded to San Diego will become a sixth-rounder.
Starting center Melvin Fowler may not be ready for full-time duty and Cory Withrow, who replaced Fowler in the second half of the Giants game, is expected to be at the ready. Backing up both of them will be Herrera, who had a shot at the starting center position in training camp before a staph infection in his leg hospitalized him for more than a week and sidelined him for several weeks.
With Liwienski expected to be deactivated, Herrera, who goes 6-2, 315 pounds, will be the main backup at guard.
"From two-a-days to now, they've been ripping me out at center and both guards. There's really no big difference. The biggest difference is I know I could be getting into the game."
Herrera agreed with Tice's assessment that a shoulder injury Liwienski has been dealing with since training camp has been hindering the former starter.
"With offensive linemen, your upper body is very crucial to what we do, from the hands to the shoulders to the neck. Especially a shoulder, you mess your shoulder up and that takes away from your aggressiveness. There's been a difference in him," Herrera said.
And that's what has everyone buzzing about Fonoti.
BY THE NUMBERS: 4 - Interceptions by former Packers and current Vikings free safety Darren Sharper over the past two games. Three of them came last Sunday in the Vikings' 24-21 victory over the New York Giants.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "The first thing I was telling someone was to make sure that I don't go to their sideline because of the fact I've been doing that for eight years. Make sure I stay on the away team's sideline. It's going to be interesting also to see the visiting team's locker room and all that." - Free safety Darren Sharper on playing his first game as a visitor at Lambeau Field after eight seasons with the Packers.
Syndicated content contributed to the notes portion of this report.