Vikings Back On MNF Schedule?

VU has been told that the Vikings' ban from Monday Night Football may end after this season.

Prior to this season, the Vikings had the longest continuous streak of games on Monday Night Football -- a streak that ended this year when the team was left off the ABC slate.

Expect that to change next year, however, as the Vikings will likely make a return to ABC.

A league source told VU Monday that the NFL is hearing concerns from ABC about imposing a flex schedule that would allow for games with the most playoff implications to be played on Monday nights late in the season. Both FOX and CBS are said to be against the plan, since it would rob them of key late-season games and ABC already steals away some of the league's better matchups.

VU was told that, as a compromise to avoid scenarios like the awful ratings having horrible teams like Chicago and St. Louis each playing three times on MNF is to focus on rivalry matchups. One that was mentioned directly was the Packers and Vikings.

"That is one that I'm sure will get looked at," the league source told VU. "The ratings on their Sunday night game on ESPN were very strong. Considering the hype surrounding Brett Favre and his problems in Minnesota's dome, that could easily be a selling point for the game -- even if Minnesota is struggling like they are this year."

Apparently the plan for 2003 will be to focus more on the longstanding divisional and conference matchups as opposed to Super Bowl rematches of yesteryear. With as many MNF stinkers as ever this year, the hope is to go back to the longstanding rivalries to get ratings -- something that would put the Vikings back in the national spotlight.

* The Vikings made a flurry of roster moves Monday, starting with placing OT Lewis Kelly on injured reserve with a hernia.
* Along with Kelly leaving the roster, the Vikings released safety Jason Perry from the 53-man roster and DE Mike Cecera from the practice squad.
* In their place, the Vikings claimed DB Carey Scott off waivers from the Oakland Raiders and re-signed DL Cedric Killings to the 53-man roster.
* To fill the vacancy on the practice squad, the Vikings resigned G Kenny Sandlin, who was released last week.

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