Vikings Get Injury Break Again

The Vikings caught a break Monday night when Clinton Portis was limited in his playing time with a shoulder injury. The same appears to be happening this week with the Panthers.

Injuries are a part of the NFL and can often be the difference between winning and losing. You can bet the Redskins are using the injury to Clinton Portis as a potential excuse for losing Monday's game, and the Panthers come into the Metrodome Sunday with at least one star player already assured to be on the shelf.

Linebacker Dan Morgan will miss Sunday's game after suffering a concussion that won't allow him to return to action immediately. But, just as important, Steve Smith, who torched the Vikings for 201 yards receiving last year, is still listed as questionable.

Smith, who missed most of training camp and didn't practice Wednesday with tightness in his hamstring, missed the Week 1 opener vs. the Falcons -- a humbling loss by the Panthers. He is critical to the Panthers avoiding a 0-2 start, so look for the Panthers to do what it takes to get him in. But, as it stands now, until he practices, he likely won't risk long-term injury by playing.

* Other players on the Panthers injury report include Nick Goings (questionable with a thigh injury), LB Jason Kyle (probable, shoulder), DT Jordan Carstens (probable, elbow) and LB Na'il Diggs (probable, knee).
* The only Vikings listed on the Week 2 injury report are RB Ciatrick Fason (probable, shoulder) and safety Will Hunter (probable, hamstring).
* The agent for Quincy Morgan is telling the Denver media that he expects his client to sign with the Broncos early next week. The Vikings worked him out last week, but they appear to want to give recently signed Maurice Mann an opportunity.
* Koren Robinson practiced with his new Packers teammates, but faces a couple of court appearances -- Oct. 4 in Kirkland, Wash. for a violation of his parole and Oct. 17 in Nicollet County stemming from his arrest for DUI and fleeing police.
* Brad Johnson turned 38 Wednesday and, as he spoke with the local media, asked jokingly, "No rocking chair?" A lot has been made of Johnson's age, but, after spending his first five years as a backup, Johnson says he doesn't feel like the old man he's being portrayed as by many in the media.
* "Vikings Weekly" on FSN North (DirectTV channel 641) will air at 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Tonight's edition will feature a story on Tony Richardson's program to buy dictionaries for school kids and Brad Johnson demonstrating the three-step drop.

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