Vikings Wrap Up Camp and Move On
clock Aug 17, 2006 9:13 pm US/Central
Vikings Wrap Up Camp And Move On
(AP) Mankato, Minn. Two key defensive players are already lost for the season. The troubled top receiver has been indefinitely excused for a well-publicized crime. The Minnesota Vikings are just trying to move on, as any other team would.
On their final full day of training camp, the Vikings expressed relief that the hard part of practicing is over and vowed to stay positive -- realizing that they're in the NFL, where rosters are big, injuries happen all the time and so do off-the-field problems.
"We've got a lot of work to do," coach Brad Childress said after Thursday afternoon's workout, the summer's last activity at the Minnesota State University campus in Mankato open to the public or the media.
First, the organization must decide what to do with Koren Robinson, who was charged Wednesday in nearby Nicollet County with fleeing from police and drunken driving.
His status on the roster remains uncertain.
"I've excused him here. I've kind of left it open-ended," the coach said. "I just thought it was best that he had a little down time. ... I don't want to be knee-jerk. I want to make sure I've got facts, all the facts."
Denver's Ashley Lelie and Oakland's Jerry Porter are two proven receivers who are unhappy in their current situations. If the Vikings want more at the position, a trade is a possibility.
"I suppose everything is possible," Childress said. "There are costs involved. You have to decide whether that player is worth that cost. I know the names out there. But you've got to decide if that person is a fit. We continue to look and comb and savor who is there, who we think will be traded, who might come on the waiver wire. That's a nightly ritual."
Thinned depth at receiver, linebacker and safety, with Chad Greenway and Tank Williams on injured reserve, will make Saturday's preseason game at Pittsburgh more critical for players at those positions.
Kevin Kasper (ankle) is one receiver who won't play against the Steelers, after an impressive performance on kickoff returns in the last game against the Raiders. Running back Mewelde Moore (knee) is also out, creating an opportunity for Ciatrick Fason to establish himself as the top reserve behind Chester Taylor. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson will play with the second team on Saturday, too, giving the raw rookie a chance to prove he can be the backup to Brad Johnson.
So the Vikings, after a mock game on Friday morning, will travel east to meet the Steelers without several players they were counting on for important contributions.
"You've got to keep guys going," receiver Marcus Robinson said. "I think guys are going to go anyway, because this is work for us. This is your job."
With a tenuous agreement to train in Mankato for the next two years, where they've summered since 1966, the Vikings prepared to break camp for possibly the final time in this college town. Of course, that's the way it's been now for the past several Augusts.
Childress, after his first experience, gave his endorsement of the environment.
"I love the facility. The proximity of everything has been great," he said.
Man I hope everyone there is keeping their chins up. The last thing we need is sh!tty team morale.