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Thursday, August 5, 2010
Questioning Minnesota, Detroit injuries

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

As NFC North training camps approach the end of their first week, we're starting to hear more and more about injuries. It's not unexpected, and I don't detect an unusual frequency. But we've already addressed Atari Bigby's situation in Green Bay, so let's take a look at situations that arose Thursday in Minnesota and Detroit.

The Vikings have spent the majority of training camp without four of their key offensive players: Quarterback Brett Favre, tailback Adrian Peterson, receiver Sidney Rice and receiver Percy Harvin.

We all know Favre is nursing his sore ankle at home. Peterson, however, has missed five practices because of what has been described as general soreness. Rice hasn't practiced at all because of a six-month-old hip injury, and coach Brad Childress said Wednesday that he is "a ways away" from returning to practice. Finally, Harvin has missed eight practices following the death of his grandmother.

From the outside, at least, those absences cast an odd pall over the Vikings' camp. How could "soreness" sideline Peterson for so many practices so early in camp? How did Rice's injury go from a minor issue into one that figures to extend into the second week of camp? And how could the offense possibly be getting in synch without those four players on the field?

I have some conspiracy theories, but for now, let's not go there. They would just be entertaining guesses. In reality, we're still early in the camp process. But I will be quite interested to see the state of this team when I get to Mankato, Minn., next week.

Meanwhile, Lions coach Jim Schwartz felt compelled to tweet-- yes, you've got that right -- that two of his key defensive players are not injured seriously. Schwartz tweeted that safety Louis Delmas (groin) and linebacker DeAndre Levy (back) "are considered to be in short-term injury situations" and that the team simply is erring on the side of caution with both. That tweet was later deleted, but I did re-tweet a portion of it before then.

Delmas hasn't practiced at all, while Levy began sitting out Monday. It's always fair to question NFL teams when it comes to injuries, but after speaking to Delmas this week, I got every impression that he's not in a long-term situation. I'm not as sure on Levy, but it was interesting to see Schwartz address it this week.