Kelly To Get Shot at LT

Despite word coming out that the Vikings and Bryant McKinnie may be closer to a deal, Plan B (or is it C?) will take place Saturday night.

The Vikings are looking at three possibilities heading into the practice sessions following Saturday's game with Cleveland.

The first is to get Bryant McKinnie signed. As his holdout enters its 14th day, VU has been told the Vikings and McKinnie's agents have spoken in recent hours and the two sides appear willing to compromise off of their hard-line contract demands and threats. This is the ideal plan -- get it done and get on with life.

The second option is to move Pro Bowl center to an unfamiliar left tackle spot. Earlier this week, the Vikings said that was a legitimate option and have stated Birk would begin playing LT on Monday if McKinnie isn't signed.

A third, more rational option emerged Thursday. Lewis Kelly is going to get extended time at LT Saturday vs. Cleveland. The plan is to see if he can handle playing left tackle. If he has a strong performance, the Vikings may scrap the plan to move Birk and let Kelly handle the position until McKinnie is in.

Although talk continues of Birk preparing to move to left tackle for the Aug. 23 game vs. Buffalo, VU continues to hear that, for now, moving Birk is a threat and a last resort. Hopefully, McKinnie will get signed and make it all moot, but Saturday could be the first night of the rest of Lewis Kelly's career, as he moves from backup to starter.

* Doug Chapman suffered a turf toe injury Wednesday night at the team's scrimmage and was sidelined Thursday. He is listed as questionable for Saturday.
* Guard Corbin Lacina also is being listed as questionable, but likely won't play.
* DT Winfield Garnett will have hamstring surgery Tuesday. There is no timetable as to how long he will be sidelined.
* CB Mesene Louisdor, who missed practice this week dealing with a personal issue, informed the team Thursday that he is retiring.
* For fans going to Saturday's game, the Vikings sent VU a press release concerning stadium security. It will remain the same as it was post-Sept. 11 -- no coolers, duffle bags, backpacks or large purses will be allowed in the stadium, allow extra time to get into the stadium and expect some delays as the checks are conducted, and the gates of the stadium will open two hours before game time (5 p.m. Saturday).

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