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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Leber has practiced, may be ready to play

    Posted on Sat, Sep. 30, 2006

    [size=13pt]Leber has practiced, may be ready to play[/size]

    Williams, Taylor listed as probable for Bills

    BY SEAN JENSEN
    Pioneer Press


    Vikings linebacker Ben Leber backed up his optimism by practicing in full pads for the first time this week.

    This week, Leber has aggressively rested and treated his left knee, which he sprained in the first quarter Sunday against the Chicago Bears. But Leber finished the game, and he has only one more hurdle to clear before Sunday's game in Buffalo.

    "This is the first real strenuous thing I've done on it for the last few days," Leber said. "It will be interesting to see how it responds."

    Leber said he was satisfied with the stability of his knee, and he hopes it only improves before game time. He is listed as questionable, which means there is a 50-50 chance he will play.

    "I don't think it's going to be right down to the wire," he said. "The way it felt today, if the game had to be played today, I think I could do it."

    Vikings coach Brad Childress said he will need to see how Leber's knee responds today.

    Leber added that a knee brace could help, but he prefers not to use one.

    If he can't play, backup middle linebacker Dontarrious Thomas probably would replace him, with veteran Jason Glenn also playing in certain situations.

    In other injury news, defensive tackle Pat Williams (ankle) was upgraded to probable, and running back Chester Taylor (ankle) also remains probable, which is defined as a "virtual certainty" that the player can play. Rookie quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was downgraded to out after undergoing a scope on his right knee Monday.

    For the Buffalo Bills, Pro Bowl linebacker Takeo Spikes missed a portion of practice Friday and is questionable for Sunday's game. He has been inactive the past two games because of a hamstring injury.

    Dwight Smith fined: Vikings safety Dwight Smith was fined $5,000 for unnecessary roughness Sunday in the third quarter against the Bears. Bears receiver Muhsin Muhammad caught a two-yard pass, and he was quickly tackled by Vikings cornerback Fred Smoot. But Smith dove into Muhammad as well, drawing a 15-yard penalty.

    "Isn't my first fine and won't be my last," Smith said Friday. "I didn't even think about it. They threw the flag, so I knew I was going to get fined."

    Interestingly, Smith seemed more upset that Bears defensive end Alex Brown was fined $7,500 for a horse-collar tackle of Vikings running back Mewelde Moore in the second quarter. On the third and long play, Moore was on his way to a first down when Brown grabbed him from behind and pulled him down.

    Smith and Moore debated in the locker room about the validity of the play. Moore argued that he could have been hurt on the play, while Smith and backup center Jason Whittle questioned whether such plays are too protective of offensive players.

    Making them count: Veteran receiver Billy McMullen has only four catches in three games. But he has gained an impressive 15 yards per catch, and three of them netted first downs. In fact, two of his catches were key third-down conversions. His most notable play was a 22-yard catch in Washington, on third and 9. Marcus Robinson scored a 20-yard touchdown two plays later.

    "My role is, when the ball comes to me, catch it," said McMullen, whom the Vikings acquired in the offseason from the Philadelphia Eagles. "Whenever they put me in, I get a block, or I get a catch. Just do my job."

    Naturally, as a receiver, McMullen would like more opportunities. But he said he's getting along with all the receivers.

    "We're cool. We got a lot of vets," he said. "But everyone's down to Earth. We see an area that needs to be fixed, we help each other out. There's a lot of love in that room."

    Briefly
    : Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson practiced with gloves on Friday, just in case of inclement weather Sunday in Buffalo.

    He said he wore gloves last year in Baltimore and Green Bay.

    "If it's cold or wet, I'm wearing the gloves," he said.

    • Scoring first Sunday could be a key. The Vikings have scored on the opening offensive drive in each game, while the Bills have scored on their first drive in 13 of their past 19 games.

    • Special teams coordinator Paul Ferraro said Pinner would continue to return kickoffs and Troy Williamson also will be used from time to time, depending on how he's feeling and the game situation.

    • Childress has been pleased with how his players have responded after losing Sunday to the Bears.

    "I feel like they've gone about their business," he said. "You know, every day can't beat the game day, but yet they've gone through and knocked out what they needed to knock out every day as they prepare."

    Don Seeholzer contributed to this report.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    vikingbill50's Avatar
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    Re: Leber has practiced, may be ready to play

    i would love to se him play but ifhe isnt 100% then sit him out the game and play DT, he will be good replacement and get the job done, let leber's knee get fully healed and dont risk a chance of making it worse as the seaosn is early and we need him
    I BLEED THE COLOR PURPLE

  3. #3
    UndisputedVike's Avatar
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    Re: Leber has practiced, may be ready to play

    I don't like how Smith challenged that call on the Moore tackle and then had the audacity to actually argue about it with Moore, their supposed to be teamates are they not? I agree though Mewelde could have been hurt on that play and it was right of the league to fine Brown.

  4. #4
    vikingbill50's Avatar
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    Re: Leber has practiced, may be ready to play

    rules are rules whether the players like them or not doesnt matter, you get caught then you get penalized and if bad enough you get fined, what smith did was a bad thing on his part, their is no excuse in a hit like that when the player is down or going down, it only hurts the team and brown got caught and was penalized and also fined too, there must of been something in order for the nfl to make that rule about horse collar tackles...but is a rule now
    I BLEED THE COLOR PURPLE

  5. #5
    Freakout is offline Coordinator
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    Re: Leber has practiced, may be ready to play

    "UndisputedVike" wrote:
    I don't like how Smith challenged that call on the Moore tackle and then had the audacity to actually argue about it with Moore, their supposed to be teamates are they not? I agree though Mewelde could have been hurt on that play and it was right of the league to fine Brown.
    That is crappy rule.
    Your allowed to grab there if you take them straight to the ground but your not allowed to ride them?
    I'm pretty sure the Bears player was trying his best to take him down asap.
    Of course I'm glad it went our way but I don't blame Smith one bit for not liking that call.
    As a defensive player he could easily be stuck in the same situation where grabbing the collar is the only way to bring a guy down.
    Then he's stuck with the thought of how long am I able to hold him like this before it's a flag.

  6. #6
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Leber has practiced, may be ready to play

    KFFL
    Vikings | Smith fined $5,000
    Sat, 30 Sep 2006 08:55:33 -0700

    Sean Jensen, of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, reports Minnesota Vikings S Dwight Smith was fined $5,000 by the NFL for an unnecessary roughness penalty during Week 3 versus the Chicago Bears.

    Bears | A. Brown fined $7,500
    Sat, 30 Sep 2006 08:41:52 -0700

    Sean Jensen, of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, reports Chicago Bears DE Alex Brown was fined $7,500 for his horse-collar tackle against Minnesota Vikings RB Mewelde Moore during Week 3.


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