Boat Charges Expected Today

The Vikings are quietly waiting to see what, if any, charges are brought against players for the October boat fiasco that set off a national firestorm.

The Vikings became a league joke in mid-October when word of a scandalous boat ride on Lake Minnetonka made headlines everywhere. More than two months later, word is expected today as to what charges (if any) are going to be brought against the Vikings players involved.

Investigators handed over findings to prosecutors two weeks ago and, at the time, it wasn't clear if any of the recommendations were going to be followed up with legal charges. One thing that was certain was that no recommendation of federal charges were issued. In the days following the news, there was speculation that those involved with flying in the strippers/prostitutes from Atlanta could be facing charges under the federal Mann Act. But it appears now that if any charges are to be filed, they will more likely be in the realm of public disturbance charges.

* The Steelers should be at almost full strength Sunday. The only player of note with a meaningful injury is CB Deshea Townsend, who is questionable with a neck strain. Four other players are listed as probable -- Jerome Bettis (quadricep), Joey Porter (elbow), Ben Roethlisberger (thumb) and Hines Ward (ankle).
* For the Vikings, Keith Newman will miss the next couple of weeks, punter Chris Kluwe is listed as questionable but might play and three others -- Mewelde Moore (quadricep), Fred Smoot (shoulder) and Kevin Williams (knee) -- are all expected back in the lineup.
* With the new TV contract in place starting next year, the salary cap could jump as high as $92-95 million and, with getting money like the Randy Moss pro-rated signing bonus off the books, the Vikings should be about $20 million under the cap again this year.

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