When a team prepares for someone like the Patriots, who have won three Super Bowls in the last five years, it wants to be all full strength. The Vikings are far from that, especially at the one position that needs to be 100 percent.
The Vikings' passing game has been something of a weak link this season, as the team has been forced to make due without a legitimate No. 1 receiver. After Randy Moss was traded in 2005, it was hoped Nate Burleson could be that guy. He wasn't and was subsequently left unprotected enough that the Seahawks made him a poison-pill signee in the offseason.
It was expected Koren Robinson could be that guy, but, after signing a huge contract, a DWI arrest in which he fled police led to his release. It was hoped Troy Williamson could move into that role, but he has had problems with drops and is currently trying to come back from a concussion.
The latest candidate for the top spot was Marcus Robinson, but as the Vikings reach their final preparation for the Patriots Monday night, it's looking more likely that he will miss the game.
Robinson, who earlier this week got a second opinion on his back injury in Chicago, missed a fourth straight day of practice Saturday -- the last full workout prior to the game. Most coaches live by the belief that if a player doesn't practice, he doesn't play, which would mean Robinson will likely be inactive Monday night.
If that's the case, the Vikings will have their top two available receivers -- Williamson and Travis Taylor -- coming off concussions. At that point, the team's top healthy receivers would be Billy McMullen and Bethel Johnson.
The Vikings may have to incorporate the tight ends much more into the passing game or even contemplate lining up Mewelde Moore on the outside to give themselves viable options in multi-receiver sets.
Timing is everything in the NFL and the timing couldn't be worse for a team looking to upend the gold standard of the NFL.
* Brad Childress defended his addition of players to injury report Friday, denying it had anything to do with the type of injury listings Pats coach Bill Belichick uses, where a dozen or more players will be listed as questionable even though it's clear some will play and some will sit. He said from what he saw at practice Friday, some players needed to be added -- adding it had nothing to do with one-upsmanship with Belichick.
* The Patriots haven't lost consecutive games in a whopping 55 straight games, dating back to late in in 2002 season. How impressive is that? The next-closest streak without consecutive losses belongs to the Broncos with 25 games.
* The last time the Vikings and Patriots played was in 2002 -- a 24-17 win by the Pats. The last time they played at the Metrodome was Nov. 2, 1997 -- a 23-18 win by the Vikings.
Robinson Likely Out
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