After receiving one 24-hour extension to sell out their game and avoid a local television blackout, the Vikings could be in line for one more extension until Saturday afternoon. Whether that would make a difference remains to be seen.
It may not be Black(out) Friday after all for the Vikings and their fans.
By league rule, the Vikings were supposed to have sold any remaining tickets for Sunday's game with the Eagles within 72 hours of game time, which would have been 3:30 p.m. Thursday, but the team was granted an extension to 3:30 p.m. today. Given what has transpired in Arizona over the last 24 hours, today may not be a hard deadline for the Vikings.
Cardinals fans found themselves in the same boat as the Vikings. When their deadline of Thursday came, the team still had 3,700 tickets remaining and was granted another 24-hour extension to today – the Cardinals host the Falcons Saturday. That would appear to open the possibility that the Vikings may be granted another 24-hour extension to Saturday.
As of Thursday afternoon, approximately 8,000 tickets remained for the game. That number will likely have to drop to less than 3,000 for there to be a chance that FOX 9, the local TV affiliate that is supposed to air the game, or other corporate partners will step in and buy up tickets.
The prognosis isn't as grim as it may have been 24 hours ago, but it still looks like it might be difficult to avoid a local blackout.
The Vikings aren't sounding overly optimistic about the chances of having either Ray Edwards for Sunday's game. Edwards has yet to practice this week and Pat Williams has been slow in responding from his shoulder injury. It was expected that Edwards might not be able to play, as Brian Robison was expected to start in his place, but Williams has been limited in his range of motion and Brad Childress said Thursday that he will be cautious with him so as not to risk further injury. In that event, Fred Evans would start in his place.
Edwards was the only Viking who didn't take part in Thursday's practice. Only three others – Williams, Bernard Berrian (ankle) and Artis Hicks (elbow) were limited.
The Falcons listed 11 players on their injury report despite having four listed as full participation each of the last two days. Three players did not participate for a second day – DE Victor Abiamiri (foot), OG Shawn Andrews (back) and OT Jon Runyan (knee). Tight end L.J. Smith (shoulder) and running back Brian Westbrook (knee/ankle) were both limited. Cornerback Asante Samuel was added to the injury report Thursday with a hip injury.
Special teams coach Paul Ferraro said Thursday that too much shouldn't be read into the signing of kicker Taylor Melhaff to a futures contract. He said teams always head into offseason activities with two kickers and that Ryan Longwell is still the Vikings kicker heading into 2009.
The Rams have asked the Cowboys for permission to speak to former Vikings assistant Ray Sherman, who is the wide receivers coach in Dallas.