The NFL announced what Bryant McKinnie and the Vikings knew was a possibility for the last several months – he will be suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. In September 2006, McKinnie signed a seven-year contract extension that could have been worth about $50 million with more than $18 million in guarantees.
The suspension starts on Saturday, according to a statement issued by the NFL making the announcement.
The suspension stems from a fight outside a Miami nightclub. McKinnie was charged with four crimes, including felony assault. If he doesn't appeal the suspension, it would end a streak in which he has played in 88 straight games and started 87 straight – since ending his holdout in his rookie year. Both of those marks are the longest among active Vikings.
Ever since Week 5 of the 2007, the Vikings have had the same starting five on their offensive line, but Artis Hicks will take over in McKinnie's absense.
"Artis is a special guy that can go inside and out," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said at the start of training camp.
Hicks started the 2007 season as the starting right guard, but he lost that job to Anthony Herrera.
"Aris has always been a natural left-side guy," Bevell said this week. "We tried to stick him on the right side, but that's where he's a natural. He's done a great job stepping in there at tackle and we haven't had to worry about him."
Hicks has started 49 NFL games with the Philadelphia Eagles and Vikings.
McKinnie Suspended Four Games
Viking Update Top Stories
Notebook: Problems extended beyond pass proThe Minnesota Vikings had obvious problems with pass protection, but there are other areas head coach Mike Zimmer is addressing, too.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 7:41 PM
Vikings will look at ‘all options’ to improveComing off a loss that Mike Zimmer termed “embarrassing,” a 21-10 defeat against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Minnesota Vikings will look at all options to rectify the situation.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 2:42 PM
VIDEO: Zimmer: 'This is a gut-check day'Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer recapped the first loss of the season by pointing out "several dumb things" he found to be uncharacteristic of his team.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 1:06 PM
Counting snaps: Vikings vs. EaglesDespite a “soft” performance on the offensive line, according to coach Mike Zimmer, the Minnesota Vikings seemed interested in getting a rotation going there.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 6:23 AM
Holler: R-E-L-A-XMike Zimmer wasn't kind in his assessment of the Minnesota Vikings Sunday following their humbling 21-10 loss to Philadelphia, but it isn't as though the season is going down the…
Viking UpdateSunday at 10:11 PM