News, Notes A'Plenty

Lineup changes, injuries, competition lead off a ton of Tuesday notes.

We have a ton of notes and news from camp here and elsewhere, so let's just get to it:
* The Vikings have some concerns at running back heading into Friday's game at Buffalo. Doug Chapman reinjured his turf toe ailment Monday and is likely out for Friday's game. In addition, starter Michael Bennett has been slowed by a slight strain of the MCL, which is of concern to the coaching staff. If this isn't bad enough, backup Moe Williams is also banged up, so it's likely that none of the top three RBs on the roster will see much action vs. the Bills.
* Derrick Alexander returned to practice Monday for the first time since camp opened and looked good. He is recovering from a partially torn quadriceps muscle and Mike Tice questioned how long he was sidelined. VU is being told that, while Alexander will likely end up a starter, D'Wayne Bates is set to be the opening day starter vs. his old Chicago team Sept. 8. Expect to see Bates look to put up big numbers in that one.
* Raonall Smith has moved past Lemanski Hall to the starting spot on the linebacker depth chart and Lewis Kelly has been installed ahead of Everett Lindsay as the starting left tackle. No discussion was made of a threat to move Matt Birk to LT.
* In a surprising bit of camp news, Chad Beasley has been switched from defensive line to offensive line. The seventh round pick was the only defensive lineman the Vikings took in the draft and Tice told VU he will have a better chance of making the team as an offensive lineman.
* As the Bryant McKinnie holdout extends into its 18th day, hopes of getting a clearer shot of his market value took a hit Monday when talks between San Diego and Quentin Jammer -- the No. 5 pick in the draft -- broke off. Neither Jammer, DT Ryan Sims at No. 6 nor McKinnie have yet signed.
* There is some discussion that the Vikings will keep just five wide receivers instead of the usual six. With Randy Moss, Alexander, Bates and Chris Walsh sure to make the team, if the Vikes keep just five WRs, the final spot could come down to a decision between veteran Sean Dawkins or youngster Kelly Campbell.
* In the secondary, after raves about Kyries Hebert throughout minicamps, he slipped to No. 3 on the free safety depth chart, being replaced at No. 2 by Jack Brewer.
* The Vikings will conduct their second passing scrimmage of training camp at 6:30 p.m. tonight and fans in attendance will receive a Mike Tice bobblehead.
* DT Winfield Garnett is scheduled to have hamstring surgery today.
* Former Viking Dale Carter is at the mercy of Commissioner Paul Tagliabue over his most recent suspension. Carter, who signed a big free agent contract with the Saints after last season, posted his fifth substance abuse policy violation and is currently suspended indefinitely. VU has been told by a Saints source that he has to apply for reinstatement to have his suspension heard and, if Tagliabue takes the same stance he did last year when he made Carter wait a month after his mandatory one-year suspension was up, it could be long. Some with the Saints, we're told, are concerned his suspension may last well into the season.
* Buffalo has some injury concerns that could affect Friday's game with the Vikings. In practice Monday, VU was told the Bills lost both of their left tackles. Starter Jonas Jennings sprained an ankle early in practice and backup Marcus Price was knocked out cold on a hit and sustained a concussion. The status of neither player is known for Friday's game.
* Former Viking CB Ramos McDonald was among the first cuts made by the Seattle Seahawks.

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