Vikings Offensive Line Has New OTA Look

The starting offensive line that the Vikings showed at Tuesday's organized team activities probably won't be the one they open the season with, but they are getting an extended look at their backups.

The Vikings had a much different look on the offensive line Tuesday at their OTA session. With Bryant McKinnie out of town (see below) and Matt Birk skipping the OTAs in a dispute over the lack of a contract extension, the Vikings had to make some switches to their non-contract practices Tuesday.

In place of McKinnie was Artis Hicks, who has played guard most of his career, but did have some time at left tackle with the Eagles when he was forced into duty due to injuries. There are some concerns that McKinnie may be facing a suspension this year if things don't go well in his upcoming trial.

Dan Mozes replaced Birk at center. Mozes is in his second year with the Vikings and was on injured reserve last year with a knee injury.

Tackle Chase Johnson and rookie John Sullivan served as backups to Hicks and Mozes, respectively. The Vikings are going to take more than just a cursory look at all of the players because the likelihood of McKinnie being suspended for at least a couple of games is a distinct possibility and with Birk's long-term future up in the air, the Vikings need to prepare themselves for life without their All-Pro center after this season.

WENDESDAY NOTES

  • Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and legislators that have been opposed to public funding for a Vikings stadium should pay attention to Tuesday's announcement that Indianapolis was awarded the 2012 Super Bowl. A study done surrounding the Super Bowl in Arizona estimated the economic impact of that game alone for the Phoenix area was $370 million. If Minnesota would build a new stadium, the Super Bowl could well return to Minneapolis, which would result in paying off a big chunk of the state's tab if they opt to keep the Vikings in Minnesota.

  • Antoine Winfield was participating in much of the Tuesday OTA workout, saying he is fully healed from offseason chest surgery.

  • Jared Allen set a record for contract numbers with the Vikings, but he may have also set a record for the shortest life of a restaurant. He opened Jared Allen's Sports Arena & Grill in Kansas City two weeks before he was traded to the Vikings. The restaurant has since closed, keeping Matt Birk as the top restaurateur on the team.

  • The NFL is selling a T-shirt commemorating Adrian Peterson's record-setting 296-yard rushing performance against San Diego last year. The shirt sells for $22 and had the Vikings logo with a "ALL DAY" and "AP" on the front and Peterson's signature and "296" in purple letters with the date on the back.

  • Peterson will conduct the inaugural Old Spice Adrian Peterson Football Camp June 26-28 in Norman, Oklahoma. The event is co-sponsored by AT&T and open to football players ages 7 to 14. It's good to see that Old Spice still has a market share of the male cologne market, much less sponsoring youth football camps.

  • A Nevada sports book has made both the Vikings and Packers as 7:4 co-favorites to win the NFC North with an over/under on wins at nine for the Vikings. However, when it comes to winning the NFC title, the Packers are 15:2 while the Vikings are 9:1. The Vikes are a 28:1 bet to win the Super Bowl.

  • The Vikings cheerleaders helped bring some smiles to our service members overseas by doing a tour in Afghanistan. Five cheerleaders were part of the tour, which ended Monday at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. At least one of the cheerleaders on the tour also went on a tour for U.S. troops in Iraq in February.

  • The judge overseeing Bryant McKinnie's felony battery case gave McKinnie a two-week continuance, meaning the trial is set to start June 20. It was scheduled to start in early June, which could have conflicted with the Vikings mandatory minicamp. McKinnie was absent from practice Tuesday while taking care of his legal matters in Florida. He is expected back for today's practice.

  • With Adrian Peterson being rested and Chester Taylor away taking care of family business, new Vikings RB/return specialist Maurice Hicks got a lot of reps with the first team during the two-hour practice.

  • In a strange piece of OTA trivia, rookie LB Erin Henderson was not on the practice field Tuesday, not due to injury but a rule between the NFL and NCAA that doesn't allow rookies to practice until their school is out. Henderson is expected to be at practice today.

  • The Vikings released wide receiver Brent Little Tuesday.

  • Chip Rosenbloom, co-owner of the St. Louis Rams along with his sister Lucia Rodriguez, denied a reports from Yahoo Sports that the Rams might be for sale for as much as $900 million. Former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo has been rumored to be interested in buying a team, but Rosenbloom said in a statement that his ownership group has "every intention" of keeping the team in St. Louis. The city lost football when the Cardinals left because they couldn't get a new stadium. The city later built a new domed stadium and lured the Rams from Los Angeles to bring football back to St. Louis.

  • In a tougher stance to the league's personal conduct policy, Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Tuesday that the teams that have players that are suspended for disciplinary reasons will also be subject to fines – making teams much more accountable for the actions of their players even on off time.

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