Tank's Sore, A Memory

Before he could even get his Vikings career underway in game action, safety Tank Williams is lost for the season. The Vikings will place him on injured reserve, perhaps as early as today, and move on without him.

The Vikings haven't had Tank Williams in the fold very long, but his fractured kneecap left some of his new teammates and coaches emotional Sunday.

In what has been marked as a physical training camp by anyone's standards, Williams was the first significant loss to the Vikings roster. Coach Brad Childress was said to be emotional when the extent of Williams' injury became apparent, as was Williams -- who has seen his season cut short with knee injuries two of the last three years.

The Vikings could announce as early as today that Williams has been placed on injured reserve, which would officially end his season. He is likely to have surgery by noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews once the swelling subsides.

"I feel terrible for Tank for a few reasons," Childress said. "No. 1, 30 years of doing this, injuries are the toughest thing, and season-ending injuries to a guy that has worked awfully hard to put himself in a position is particularly disappointing. In addition, my family and my guys – he is one of the guys, he's one of the guys that flew in here as a free agent, one of those 10 guys that I sat down and looked in the eye and talked with.

"When I saw him in the shower room last night, it was kind of an emotional thing, and you know what? I know there is a plan. I don't know what it is, but he knows that there is a plan too, but he's going to suck it up and take it, and rehab."

The Vikings haven't discussed publicly whether they will be looking for a replacement safety on the waiver wire, but their plans for Williams have been forcibly scrapped.

* Pat Williams, who was placed on the physically unable to perform list for being too heavy, is expected to be removed from that list as early as today.
* Kevin Williams missed practice Sunday with swelling in his surgically-repaired knee.
* Marcus Robinson rejoined the team Sunday after attending a family funeral.
* Tony Richardson rejoined the team after attending the Hall of Fame induction of long-time friend Warren Moon.
* Former Viking Chris Hovan still hasn't gotten over being let go by the Vikings. In a local interview, he was quoted as saying, "I came from an organization that didn't care about defense -- they put it on the back burner." It's not that the Vikings didn't care about defense, it's just that they wanted defensive tackles to make more than one tackle a game.
* Former Viking Toniu Fonoti has been sidelined for the Bucs with an ankle sprain.
* Anothe former Viking lineman -- Lewis Kelly of the Giants -- was placed on injured reserve over the weekend.

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