Erasmus James left Sunday's game late with an injury that was difficult to detect. While leaving the field, he was limping, but refused help from medical staff. It looked as though it could be a knee, an ankle, a groin injury or even a hamstring.
As it turned out, it was a knee injury and James is scheduled to have a MRI this morning in an attempt to assess the extent of the damage.
It was not initially believed to be a serious injury that could cost him considerable playing time, but any time a player has a MRI performed, there are obvious concerns. More information will be available later today when the results come in.
* Ryan Longwell became the first Vikings kicker to throw a touchdown pass in team history Sunday. He also became just the second player in NFL history to throw a touchdown pass and kick a game-winning field goal in the same game -- joining former Raiders great George Blanda.
* The Vikings did a lot of shuffling on the defensive front Sunday. In fact, in a key series early in the second half, the Vikings had Kevin Williams, Pat Williams and James on the sidelines hovering around Mike Tomlin with their helmets on ready to return. Pat Williams was on the sidelines much more than in previous games.
* Chris Gamble once again finds himself the talk of Minnesota following a game with the Panthers. In last year's meeting, it was Gamble who hit Daunte Culpepper and effectively ended his career with the Vikings. This time around, it was his ill-advised attempt at a gadget pass on a punt return that cost the Panthers the game.
* The Vikings offense sputtered much of the game and nowhere was that more evident than on third downs, where they converted just two of 15 third-down attempts.
* The Vikings post-game injury list included Troy Williamson, who missed some time with a shoulder injury before returning, Napoleon Harris, who had a big game despite a quadriceps injury, and Marcus Robinson, who was slowed with a hamstring tweak.
* Chester Taylor in on pace to carry the ball 440 times, which would be a NFL record.
* The Vikings may be hearing from the league about criticism of the officials after a pair of calls went against the Vikings late in the game that appeared to be turnovers. On one play, Jake Delhomme's arm was hit and ruled a forward pass although it appeared to be knocked loose by a hit, not the forward motion of his arm. On the other, the refs invoked the infamous "Tuck Rule" from the Patriots phantom playoff win over the Raiders that allowed them to stay in the game, win in overtime and go on to win a Super Bowl.
* Matt Birk played in his 100th game at center, leaving him just one game behind Jeff Christy for most games all time as a Vikings center. However, he is still almost nine years short of the team record of 240 games set by Mick Tingelhoff.
* Marcus Johnson likely won't be too hyped to watch game film this week. Julius Peppers showed why he is an All-Pro after registering three sacks, four quarterback hurries, a blocked field goal and a batted down pass. Brad Childress admitted after the game that he should have given Johnson more help.
James To Get MRI Today
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