DALLAS — Earlier today my former partner on the Vikings beat and now ESPN.com NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert posted an item about Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie. Seifert pointed out that it’s coming down to crunch time for the Vikings to find out from the NFL whether they will have McKinnie’s services to open the season or whether the veteran will be suspended for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
A few weeks back Sirius NFL Radio reported McKinnie likely would be suspended for four games. Asked if there was any update on McKinnie’s status, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello responded “nothing today” in an e-mail. So does that mean something is coming soon?
As Seifert points out in his entry, if the NFL is going to take action against McKinnie before the opener at Green Bay on Sept. 8 it is going to have to let the Vikings know in the next few days.
It will be interesting to see if coach Brad Childress uses tonight’s game against Dallas as an opportunity to get backup linemen Artis Hicks some work at left tackle. Hicks is going to be the starter if McKinnie has to sit out. The Vikings aren’t going to play their starters tonight so McKinnie isn’t expected to be on the field.
Update: The Vikings starters took the field here at Texas Stadium about two-and-half hours before kickoff and are going through a serious of exercises that will serve as their work for tonight’s game. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was on the field earlier and did some throwing. He walked with an obvious limp and athletic trainer Eric Sugarman spent time adjusting the brace that Jackson is wearing on his right knee. Backup quarterback Gus Frerotte, who also won’t play tonight and did not practice Tuesday, is wearing a wrap on his left leg.
Jackson did get in some work with receiver Bernard Berrian. Those two will have played a grand total of three series together entering the regular-season opener at Green Bay.