Defensive end Erasmus James is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
James suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of the Vikings' 16-13 overtime win against the Carolina Panthers. Ray Edwards and Darrion Scott saw increased time in the defensive line rotation when James limped off the field.
"He had a great training camp and I'm sorry to see that happen. Unfortunately, that's the nature of this game and that's the tough part of this game," head coach Brad Childress said.
"It's the first training camp that he's been through extensively and you could see him coming and getting better and better every day, playing the run and playing the pass. He put himself in position with the hard work and the effort in the off-season."
James was still exploring surgery options on Monday afternoon, according to Childress.
"He is making plans right now on where and when that will occur," Childress said. "Typically you rehab those for a couple weeks and then do the procedure."
Childress said the team would make a decision in the next 48 hours on whether or not they will look on the free-agent market for a defensive end, look into potential trades or simply use Edwards, Scott or another player currently on the roster.
James is the fourth player lost to injury this season. Linebacker Chad Greenway, cornerback Dovonte Edwards and safety Tank Williams all proceeded James on injured reserve.
Rookie defensive end Ray Edwards was asked to assess his performance so far before the fate of…