The Vikings have practiced two straight days without two starters on their defensive line. While it's possible both Kevin Williams and Ray Edwards could play, they likely won't be at full strength.
The Vikings defensive front is one of the primary reasons the team finds itself on the brink of making a long-awaited return to the Super Bowl. But, with the clock ticking down to 48 hours until game time, the Vikes remain without two of their four players on the defensive line.
and Ray Edwards
both missed a second straight day of practice Thursday – Williams with a bone bruise in his left knee and Edwards with a strained MCL. A report from NFL Network Thursday stated that despite missing practice time, Williams will start Sunday. There is no confirmation on the status of Edwards.
If Williams is limited, look for Jimmy Kennedy
to head up the rotation that spells him, with a larger contribution from Fred Evans
. If Edwards is limited or can't go, Brian Robison
would start in his place.
The Vikings have prided themselves on their depth all season. All five of the rookie taken in the 2009 draft have started at least one game and role players on both sides of the ball have made significant contributions. With a Super Bowl berth on the line, if either Williams or Edwards can't go in some capacity, it would be a huge blow. But, given what is at stake, expect one or both to be in the starting lineup come Sunday.
The status of the injured players will come into clearer focus this afternoon when the teams release their final injury reports. At that point, the injured players will be assigned a designation to the likelihood of their playing status. At a minimum, expect both Williams and Edwards to be listed as questionable.
Two Saints starters – tight end Jeremy Shockey and cornerback Malcolm Jenkins – both missed a second straight day of practice as well.
Percy Harvin's bout with migraines couldn't come at a worse time, because any practice he can get – whether with Brett Favre or the special teams return game – is invaluable at this point. As recently as Wednesday, Harvin said he had experienced no relapses of the migraines that have bothered him since childhood since a visit to the Mayo Clinic. Brad Childress said he expects Harvin to be good to go by Sunday. Hopefully, the plane flight to Louisiana won't pose any issues.
The Twin Cities media continues to make an exodus to New Orleans. By later today, all four of the Minneapolis-St. Paul affiliate television stations for the Big Four networks will have multiple people on the ground in the Big Easy. If nothing else, it would seem the Vikings are good for spending in the local economy.
From the "Where's the Objectivity?" Department comes this: A reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune quoted FOX studio analyst Terry Bradshaw as saying he hopes the Saints win and he gets to present the George Halas Trophy to quarterback Drew Brees. Anyone who heard the Joe Buck-Troy Aikman call on the Vikings-Dallas game knows better than to think analysts don't play favorites. Bradshaw was also among the those who criticized the Vikings for running up the score on the Cowboys, despite Dallas calling three timeouts during the Vikings' drive prior to the their final touchdown.
Prince released a Vikings fight song Thursday night. Interesting take, Mr. Nelson.