The Injured Will Play

The Vikings' depleted secondary took a potential hit Wednesday when they listed Fred Smoot as questionable on the team depth chart. But both Smoot and Mewelde Moore, who is also listed as questionable, say they're good to go Monday night in Washington.

Monday was supposed to be a homecoming of sorts for Fred Smoot. It would be his first game in Washington since leaving the Redskins as a free agent following the 2004 season -- his last game being the infamous Randy Moss "walk off" game that would turn out to be the wide receiver's last regular season game as a Viking.

But the Vikes seemed to put a damper on his return when he appeared on the Week 1 injury report listed as questionable with his rib injury.

But Smoot denied that there's any question he's going to play, saying after practice Wednesday, "I wouldn't be out practicing if I wasn't going to play."

Equally optimistic is Mewelde Moore, also listed as questionable on the injury list. Moore, who has been dogged by durability questions, pointed out Wednesday that he was active for all 16 games last year and that the constant talk of his inability to be an every-down back is overhyped. He, too, says he'll be ready to go when the season starts Monday night.

The Vikings might agree -- their Week 1 depth chart lists Smoot as a starter and Moore at No. 2 running back, despite missing all of the preseason with a knee injury.

* The Redskins injury report lists cornerback Shawn Springs (abdominal strain) as doubtful, running back Clinton Portis (shoulder separatation) as questionable and defensive end Renaldo Wynn (ankle) as probable.
* Who at the league office ticked off Tony Dungy? On the Colts injury report, 19 of the 53 players on the roster are listed as questionable. The league has penalized coaches for masking injuries to key players, which has resulted in similar all-inclusive injury lists with the Broncos and Patriots in the last two years. Apparently Dungy was warned and has responded in kind.
* Todd Bouman isn't happy about his situation with the Saints. He was assured by the coaching staff that he would make the team, but he was released over the weekend, leaving the Saints with just two quarterbacks -- one being Drew Brees, who is returning from throwing shoulder surgery. But this has become something of a trend this year. Nine of the league's 32 teams didn't keep three quarterbacks on the roster.
* From the You Can't Make This Up Department comes this: bad player behavior makes the news wherever you go, but what about when it happens to a coach? Lions defensive line coach Joe Cullen has been arrested twice in the last few weeks -- once for DWI and the other for driving naked. While there's no good excuse for drinking and driving, what possible excuse is there for taking a ride around town in the nude? Yikes!
* Former Viking Corey Chavous was named one of the defensive captains for the Rams on Wednesday.
* The Vikings worked out wide receiver Quincy Morgan this week and may sign him before the weekend.
* Forbes magazine for the last several years has done a value estimation on the 32 NFL franchises. The Redskins were the No. 1 valued franchise at $1.423 billion, while the Vikings were dead last at $720 million. Monday's game looks to be a case of the haves vs. the have nots -- at least in the banking sense.
* There are plenty of changes in the jersey numbers worn by players from preseason to now since the roster has been trimmed to 53 active players. Newly signed safety Rashad Baker will wear No. 28, Dwight Smith's old number. Smith moved to No. 24, Willie Offord's old number. Newly signed running back Artose Pinner is wearing No. 22, Adimchinobe Echemandu's former number. Newly signed wide receiver Todd Pinkston is wearing No. 17. Newly signed quarterback Brooks Bollinger is wearing No. 9, J.T. O'Sullivan's old number. Linebacker Jason Glenn switched from 47 to 55. Cornerback Ronyell Whitaker went from 39 to 27, and defensive end Jayme Mitchell, re-signed to the practice squad, will be wearing No. 92. Another practice squad player, tackle Donald Penn switched from 66 to 68. Finally, defensive tackle Ross Kolodziej switched from 69 to 96.
* Fox Sports Net North's weekly Vikings program will begin airing at 6 p.m. Central tonight, featuring a story on the wives of Steve Hutchinson and John Randle, who live near each other and are in the crafting business together. There will also be an interview with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf. FSN North is Direct TV Channel 641.

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