Performance Anxiety

Despite having to deal with the loss of Cedric Griffin and a non-football injury to Fred Smoot, much of the questioning of coach Brad Childress concerned the handling of the Marcus Robinson release at his Wednesday press conference.

Brad Childress defended his decision to release Marcus Robinson, who will almost surely finish the season as the Vikings' leading receiver of touchdown passes with four, at his Wednesday press conference, saying his release was performance-related.

Some players expressed surprise at the decision and especially how it was handled – having vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman drop the hammer over the phone.

Childress said since becoming head coach, he has personally informed only one player that he would be released. Perhaps the backlash of the Robinson release may eventually change his mind on that subject.

* The Vikings spent much of Wednesday juggling their roster after placing Cedric Griffin on injured reserve with a neck injury and placing Fred Smoot on the non-football injured reserve list. The team signed defensive back Michael Hawkins off of injured reserve from the Browns, moving DE Khreem Smith from the practice squad to the active roster and signing Dimitri Patterson to the practice squad. There is still one slot open on the 53-man roster for Sunday's game.
* With Smoot and Griffin both on injured reserve, Ronyell Whitaker and Charles Gordon will both get promoted – most likely Whitaker as the starter and Gordon and the nickel back against the high-powered Rams passing offense.
* The extra roster spot may be taken by CB Patrick Body, according to Childress.
* Robinson went unclaimed on waivers and is now an unrestricted free agent able to sign with any team.
* Antoine Winfield was voted the 2006 recipient of the Korey Stringer Good Guy Award, given by to the most cooperative Vikings player in a vote of the local media.
* The Vikings injury report was released Wednesday and included three players – Brooks Bollinger (shoulder), Troy Williamson (hamstring) and Chris Kluwe (hamstring) – listed as questionable and five others – Tarvaris Jackson (knee), Jim Kleinsasser (elbow), Napoleon Harris (wrist), Chester Taylor (ribs) and Jeff Dugan (foot) – listed as probable. The only Ram listed as more serious than probable is backup running back Paul Smith, who is questionable with a neck strain.
* The Vikings worked out three free agents Wednesday, running back Wesley Cates, defensive back Rontarius Robinson and wide receiver Tony Tomkins.

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