Vikes Face Tough Preseason

The Vikings will have a solid core of opponents in the 2006 preseason, highlighted by the Metrodome returns of Randy Moss and Brian Billick.

The Vikings will have some stiff competition in the preseason this year as the NFL announced its preseason schedule for 2006 Wednesday.

The highlight of the preseason will be the opener on Monday, Aug. 14. The Vikes will play host to the Raiders, marking the return of Randy Moss to the Metrodome. It will also be the premiere Monday night broadcast with the new broadcast team of Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser.

The remaining three games have yet to have specific dates applied to them, but are as follows: Week 2 (Aug. 17-21) at the defending champion Steelers; Week 3 (Aug. 24-28) at home vs. Brian Billick and the Ravens -- a chance for Chester Taylor to face his old mates -- and the preseason will close in Week 4 (Aug. 31-Sept. 2) at Dallas.

* The NFL owners adopted several rules changes before adjourning Wednesday. Among them are to limit the end zone celebrations that admittedly have gotten out of hand, no longer making minor twitches by offensive linemen automatic false start penalties, allowing some down-by-contact calls to be subject to review, outlawing defensive linemen hitting a QB in the pocket from the knee or lower, strengthening the penalties for horse-collar tackles and prohibiting defensive players from lining up directly over a long snapper on field goals and extra points.
* Moss' agent, Dante DiTrapano, arrested last month for possession of 73 rocks of crack cocaine and 21 grams of powder cocaine, was arrested again this week for failure to appear at his first court hearing. He posted bond and was released.
* Raiders CB Charles Woodson is scheduled to visit the Packers this week.

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