Preseason Schedule Announced

With non-divisional teams playing each other so infrequently, the Vikings preseason schedule makes little to no sense for a second straight year.

Last preseason, VU told its readers not to expect a lot of innovation from the preseason matchup between the Vikings and Bills. Because the teams were going to meet in Week 2 of the regular season, it was likely both would play their cards pretty close to the vest.

Well, it looks like the NFL has done it again. The 2003 preseason schedule was released Tuesday and it includes a pair of AFC teams and another NFC team the Vikings will meet again during the regular season.

The schedule is as follows: the first preseason "weekend" (actually Thursday to Sunday, August 7-11), the Vikings open at home vs. the Jaguars. After that, they go on the road to play the Chiefs and Raiders before closing out the preseason at home vs. the Cardinals. The Vikings will play the Chiefs, Raiders and Cardinals again in the regular season.

One would think that, with the unfamiliarity one gets from playing AFC teams, that they wouldn't get scheduled in both the preseason and regular season. But for the second time in two years under realignment and new scheduling, the league has done it to the Vikes.

WEDNESDAY NOTES
* The Vikes are still hopeful of a quick signing for Jim Kleinsasser, but the transition tag looms. Tuesday the Bengals slapped their transition tag on LB Takeo Spikes, a player the Vikings were said to be interested in. Expect to see similar type of moves following from other teams in the coming days.
* Derrick Alexander could be released as early as a week from Friday. His odds of staying with the team are minimal and clubs can start releasing players under contract Feb. 20.
* Lewis Kelly is expected to sign a one-year deal today to remain with the Vikes in 2003.
* Kenny Mixon faces some serious charges from the courts as well as potential penalties from the NFL following a second drunk driving arrest in seven months late last week. Mixon had a previou DWI pleaded out and has a second charge of driving under suspension hanging over him. This new charge could get the NFL and its substance abuse policy peeps involved.

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