Vikings left to wait on left tackle

The Vikings will have to see how Artis Hicks' elbow injury progresses this week before determining a clear plan on how to handle Dwight Freeney.

As the Vikings return to their normal game week practice schedule today, many eyes will be on Artis Hicks. The player filling in for suspended left tackle Bryant McKinnie, Hicks injured his right elbow in the third quarter of the Vikings Monday night loss to Green Bay. He was replaced by Marcus Johnson, who finished the game.

It isn't believed that Hicks' injury is too serious, but it does make a bad situation worse for the Vikings, who didn't go outside the organization to add a left tackle even though it was apparent some time ago that McKinnie was going to be suspended for his part in a brawl outside a Miami night club earlier this year. After internally trying to appeal the suspension, the word came down a little over a week ago that McKinnie would get a four-game suspension – viewed by many as the maximum suspension allowed for such an offense. They felt Hicks could get the job done and that there was no reason to scour the waiver wire to find another left tackle.

That decision nearly came back to haunt them Monday night when Hicks left the game with his elbow injury. His listed backup, rookie Drew Radovich, was inactive for the game – leaving the team no alternative but to go turn to Johnson as their third left tackle.

With the first injury report coming out today, it will be interesting to see what the status of Hicks will be. If he can return to play Sunday against the Colts, the Vikings likely won't be forced to make some kind of roster move. Otherwise, considering that the left tackle will have to face pass rusher Dwight Freeney, the third or fourth tackle option might not cut it.


  • After spending almost all of his rookie season as the team's nickel back, CB Marcus McCauley was a healthy de-active for Monday's game. McCauley, who missed time in training camp with a knee injury, appears to have fallen behind Charles Gordon and Bennie Sapp on the CB depth chart. But Brad Childress said the reason for his de-activation was due more in part to special teams play and a training camp setback for McCauley, who had a knee injury.

  • The team released DT Leger Douzable and LB Kyle Shotwell from the practice squad and re-signed DE Martail Burnett.

  • Did Brad Childress refuse to do the post-game handshake with Packers coach Mike McCarthy? TV replays showed McCarthy head toward midfield, but never finding Childress. Apparently there is no bad blood between the two, but blowing off the post-game handshake could start a precedent like the uncomfortable post-game rituals between Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini.

  • Things appear to be seriously messed up in Tennessee, where the Vikings will play their next road game in three weeks. The strange saga surrounding Vince Young has gotten even stranger. Reports are that, after being booed by the home fans in a disappointing opener, Young initially refused to go back into the game. He eventually did, but injured his left knee. According to reports, he subsequently has refused to get an MRI done and, when he went missing Monday night for a few hours, it seems hard to imagine that his family's first thought was to call Jeff Fisher and that Fisher's first response was to call the police if they didn't have concerns over his well-being. It now appears that, even though Young's injury would have him available to potentially play against the Vikings, the Titans are going to give the job to Kerry Collins, who may well keep the job even when Young is healthy enough to play.

  • The Steelers signed WR Martin Nance to their practice squad Tuesday.

  • Desperate for wide receiver help after former Vikings WR Nate Burleson went down for the year with a knee injury, Seattle signed former Vikings WR Billy McMullen Tuesday.

  • The Ravens released kicker Steve Hauschka, who spent training camp with the Vikings, Tuesday after a pair of players suspended for the first game returned to the roster
  • Not so fast on that name change just yet, Chad Johnson. The Artist Wanting to Be Known As Chad Ocho Cinco officially changed his name recently, but because the league only recognizes number or name changes after approved by Reebok, the name continues to be "C. Johnson" on the back of his jersey. On Tuesday, Reebok said it has more than 100,000 jerseys that say C. Johnson on store shelves throughout the country and that, if Johnson wants to change the name on his jersey, he will have to buy them back. At a production cost of $48 each, Johnson would have to pay just under $5 million to buy them all back and get them replaced with Ocho Cinco jerseys. There is somewhat of a precedent here. Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers changed his number from 58 to 55 and had to pay approximately $11,000 for Reebok to approve the change.

  • The Buccaneers worked out OT Fred Miller, but didn't sign the 12-year veteran to a contract. Miller, who plays left tackle, was re-signed by the Chicago Bears instead.

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