Tice's Status Still Unknown

Mike Tice didn't his team into the playoffs and couldn't give a definitive answer on his job status Monday, but he made it clear he would like to know soon so evaluations can begin.

While Sunday's loss at Baltimore means the Vikings' immediate future won't include a second consecutive trip to the playoffs, coach Mike Tice remained uncertain about what his future holds.

Tice's contract is set to expire on Jan. 31, and owner Zygi Wilf has given no indication if he'll be retained. Tice said his agent, Jimmy Sexton, did get a call from Wilf, but the brief conversation was more for introductory purposes.

"The indications are what he's communicated to you (media) people that he's going to make the decision after the season," Tice said of Wilf. "Hopefully, it's sooner than later because of the nature of the beast."

Tice's assistants also are in limbo.

"I don't know what Mr. Wilf is basing his decision on," said Tice, whose team will close the regular season Sunday against Chicago. "He might have already made his decision. I don't know. I would be a liar if I said the only thing on my plate right now is beating the Bears. I have children, a life and a wife, and it also is my job to make sure everyone doesn't walk around depressed in this building including coaches and their families. ... The reality of it is the season for us officially ends Sunday."

The reality too, at least according to Tice, is that things won't slow down just because the games are finished.

"The thing that we all have to understand is the season doesn't slow down," he said. "Tuesday morning the train keeps rolling. We have to evaluate the roster.

"We have to evaluate the coaching staff. We have to give the coaches some time, and we have to get ready to go to the Senior Bowl. ... Hopefully there will be some type of indication of our status sooner rather than later. Earlier in the week would certainly be a lot better than late in the week. So we'll see."


  • C Melvin Fowler missed Sunday's game because of a high sprain of his left ankle. However, coach Mike Tice said Monday that Fowler looked pretty good and might be able to play Sunday in the regular-season finale against Chicago.

  • RT Marcus Johnson has a high sprain of his right ankle that is likely to sideline him for Sunday's regular-season finale against the Chicago Bears. Johnson missed the Vikings' loss to Baltimore on Sunday.

  • TE Jermaine Wiggins' sprained left ankle did not stop him from leading the Vikings with seven catches for 43 yards and a touchdown against Baltimore. That was Wiggins' most receptions in a game since the Vikings' victory at Green Bay on Nov. 21.

  • LB Keith Newman is almost certainly done for the season because of a sprained right knee. Newman has missed the past two games and is expected to sit out Sunday against Chicago.

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