Injuries Mount, Practice Shortened

The Vikings had three more players leave practice early Wednesday morning, and the afternoon practice was cancelled, as the physical Camp Childress continues to take its toll. See who was sitting out, who was making the plays and who is still adjusting to a transition.

Injuries, though few have been serious, continue to mount for the Minnesota Vikings, and coach Brad Childress called off the morning practice 30 minutes early and the short, no-pads afternoon practice was canceled.

Receiver Marcus Robinson, running back Ciatrick Fason and tackle Bryant McKinnie all left practice early Wednesday. Robinson "tweaked" a neck injury, though he went back onto the field but did not practice. Fason suffered a concussion during a goal-line drill, and McKinnie had a hand injury. McKinnie's right wrist and hand were heavily taped before practice, and both Fason and McKinnie walked off the field accompanied by trainers.

Free-agent linebacker Marcus Lawrence also missed practice with an unknown injury. Viking Update spotted him winching in pain after a hitting a blocking bag in special teams practice Tuesday afternoon.

None of the injuries appeared to be serious.

"We tell the guys to come out here and do what we do and trust that we'll have their overall best interest at heart, in terms of taking care of them," defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin said.

Safety Darren Sharper had a hamstring strain on Tuesday, but he was back on the field Wednesday, participating in some of the drills.


Left guard Artis Hicks, who was acquired on a draft-day trade with Childress' former team Philadelphia, has played on the left side for all of his four professional seasons, but he's making the shift to the right side, which is a more difficult transition than it might seem.

The plays are the similar, just flip-flopped, and his first step is usually in the opposite direction with his opposite foot.

"I tell people it's like being right-handed and trying to write with your left hand," he said. "It just doesn't feel right. The more reps I get, the more comfortable I feel."

On Wednesday, Hicks manhandled rookie defensive end Ray Edwards during a pass-rushing drills.


During a seven-on-seven drill, the Vikings defense made several good plays, including interceptions by linebacker Kyle McKenzie and cornerback Dustin Fox.

Cornerbacks Ronyell Whitaker and Dovonte Edwards both made diving breakups.

"I think things are starting to click, and we're coming together as a defense," Whitaker said. "There's a lot of competition out there. We're just trying to find out who meshes with who. We're raising the level of competition, and the guys want to compete."

Defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin said it's nice to see interceptions, but he also knows the defense has to make more traditional three-and-out stops, too.

"You take it when you can get it," Tomlin said.


  • Backup quarterback Mike McMahon and long-snapper Cullen Loeffler were the last players on the practice field, as McMahon worked on his holding skills. Punter Chris Kluwe is listed as the primary holder, with quarterback Brad Johnson as the backup. However, starting quarterbacks are rarely the holder, except in emergencies.

    "I've done it in the past," McMahon said. "I was just working on it because you never know."

  • In the life of a young receiver category, Chris Jones, who spent most of last season on the Vikings practice squad before being activated for the final two games, made a nice diving catch along the sideline, then dropped the next one as he cut across the middle.

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