Sawyer May Be Headed for I.R.

With an ailing knee that has been slow to rehabilitate, the Vikings are contemplating putting Talance Sawyer on injured reserve.

Earlier this month when Talance Sawyer had arthroscopic knee surgery, the Vikings wanted quick answers to his rehabilitation timeline because the team needed to make a roster move. When given a prognosis, the team opted not to place Sawyer on injured reserve -- instead keeping him on the 53-man roster.

However, with his healing time being slowed, the Vikings are contemplating putting him on I.R., a team source told VU Monday.

Two options being discussed are to use his spot if the Vikings sign holdout OT Bryant McKinnie this week. The other option is to re-sign DT Cedric Killings, who was released in September. However, with Sawyer's value as a pass rusher, the team wants to be sure that his down time will be prolonged before making a final decision. That said, the call will likely be made in the next couple of days -- one way or the other.

* While both the Vikings and McKinnie's agents Jim Steiner and Ben Dogra sound optimistic about a pending deal to end a holdout that is nearing 100 days, it didn't help matters that negotiations Monday were brief. Why? Steiner and Dogra were at the NFL offices in New York giving depositions on the collusion allegations made about the Vikings and Chiefs sharing draft signing strategies.
* VU is being told that, due to the intensity of the negotiations and the apparent willingness of both sides to give in on their original contract stances, if this latest round of contract talks with the McKinnie breaks down, there likely won't be any more and the matter will be dropped until March.
* Who will QB Tampa Bay Sunday? With Brad Johnson out with a broken rib, backup Rob Johnson got the call Sunday. But he strained a gluteal muscle (translation: pain in the butt) and was replaced at the end of the game by Shaun King. A Bucs source said the job is Brad Johnson's when he returns, but Jon Gruden won't take a chance with him if he isn't 100 percent. We're told it's likely Rob Johnson will get the start.
* Lewis Kelly was at Winter Park Monday with his ankle in a protective boot. He suffered a high ankle sprain Sunday, but the boot is more of a protective immobilizing device. Kelly is expected to play Sunday.

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