Biggest Week of Players Lives Ongoing

The Vikings will have some tough decisions to make this week, as the decide the fate of almost 20 players as they look to drop their roster to 65 players by Monday.

The course of training camp gave new coach Mike Tice many things to ponder. In a season of firsts for Tice, he is facing one of the uglier sides of a coach's job -- telling a player he doesn't have the skill to make his team.

NFL teams must cut down to 65 players next Monday, and Tice has numerous decisions to make. Some of them have been made more difficult because of injuries to key players and a holdout by Bryant McKinnie that has forced roster shuffling. In the process, some players who likely would have been easy roster casualties have been able to work their way into consideration.

While most of the players on the first list of cuts won't be big names or even familiar to casual Vikings fans, Tice is going to have some struggles getting his roster to 65 players, and then down to 53 players following the final preseason game at Pittsburgh.

Welcome to one of the downsides of being the head man, Coach Tice. This is never an easy choice to release players, but Tice -- a player's coach -- will likely lament more than most over those let go.

* Linebacker Lemanski Hall and WR Kenny Clark are both seeing specialists over injury conditions today. Hall, who suffered a fracture to the medial orbit behind his right eye during the Buffalo game, was held out of practice after suffering from some severe headaches. While he's off to see an oculist, while Clark is off the an orthapedic specialist dealing with the spine. Clark has been suffering back spasms and the specialist will determine what the specific cause of the injury is. Both are questionable for Friday's game.
* Word is that Bryant McKinnie has not been in contact with any of the Vikings players that have called him while his contract impasse continues. VU has been told that, while McKinnie wants to play, his agents have told him not to be in contact with the Vikings until a deal is finalized.

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