Remember three weeks ago when Vikings head coach Mike Tice said he didn't think he'd be bringing in anymore players while reporters were looking for solutions to the Vikings' winning season? Well, that didn't exactly hold. A kicker the Vikings wanted was released and injuries forced a number of other moves.
A couple days after that statement from Tice the Vikings signed kicker Hayden Epstein and released Doug Brien to give a more youthful leg the opportunity to do what Brien had been limited to doing anyway — strictly handle kickoffs.
Since then, there have been a number of other roster moves, but after signing Bryant McKinnie last weekend and releasing tackle Jon Carman on Friday, the flurry of activity could be coming to an end, barring injuries, that is.
One of the main reasons the Vikings have needed to make multiple moves on a weekly basis is because of injuries. The injured-reserve list alone is a nice group of players, most of whom would have either started or been expected to play a significant role in the Vikings' season.
The list goes like this: WR Derrick Alexander, DT Talance Sawyer (knee), RB Doug Chapman (abdomen), G Ed Ta'amu (knee), LB Raonall Smith (shoulder), WR Kenny Clark (back), DL Willie Howard (leg), DL Winfield Garnett (hamstring)
But with the signing of McKinnie — who is expected to see increased playing time each week with a long-shot chance to start tomorrow — and avoiding further injuries the Vikings are likely largely settled on their roster for the season … at least until after Sunday's injury report.
* The Vikings learned they won't have to pay Brien afterall. Veterans are only allowed one chance to seek pay after being cut and Brien had already done that earlier in his career.
* Safety Willie Offord has worked his way back into the starting lineup. Offord was deactivated for the two weeks while Brian Russell got the start. The time to observe from the sidelines helped Offord learn more and may have motivated the rookie to play harder and smarter.
* The Giants have been awful running the football, especially for a team that uses it as its forte. Through eight games, the Giants are averaging 100 yards rushing per game (about 44 yards a game less than the Vikings), are averaging 3.6 yards a carry and have just four rushing TDs. By contrast, the Giants are allowing 116 yards a game at a 4.6 yard average and have allowed six rushing TDs.
* Tiki Barber is likely the single Giants player that the Vikings are keying on defensively. He has quietly put together a very productive season — on pace to rush for 1,110 yards and have 80 receptions for nearly 800 yards. If the Vikings are to beat the Giants, he will be a player the team will have to contain.
* The Vikings have scored just eight passing touchdowns this season while allowing 16 TD passes. In contrast, of the team's 22 touchdowns, 14 have been rushing. Moe Williams has as many rushing TDs as Daunte Culpepper has passing TDs.
* Williams is on pace to score 16 touchdowns and is currently five short of the all-time Vikings record of 13 rushing TDs in a year — held by Chuck Foreman, who did it in 1975 and 1976, and Terry Allen, who did it in 1992.
* Owner Red McCombs' autobiography is out. The name is the "The Red Zone: Cars, Cows and Coaches."
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