Battle in the Bayou: Injury report

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Half of Minnesota’s starting defensive line sat out practice Wednesday, a situation that will be closely monitored as the NFC Championship Game approaches.

Left end Ray Edwards’ absence was expected after he sprained his right knee in the Vikings’ divisional-round victory over Dallas. But All-Pro defensive tackle Kevin Williams was also absent from practice. The Vikings hadn’t previously indicated he was hobbled in any way. But according to the injury report they just released, Williams has a knee injury.

At this point, there’s no reason to believe that either Williams or Edwards are injured seriously enough to miss Sunday’s game. But at Wednesday’s practice, at least, the Vikings were using third-year player Brian Robison at left end and veteran Jimmy Kennedy in Williams’ tackle position.

Meanwhile, three key players missed practice in New Orleans: Cornerback Malcolm Jenkins (hamstring), receiver Robert Meacham (ankle) and tight end Jeremy Shockey (knee).

UPDATE: Safety Darren Sharper (knee) was a late addition to the Saints' injury report. He did not practice Wednesday, but is not believed to be seriously injured.