Vikings escape Denver game in good health

Updated: October 20, 2003, 8:19 PM ET

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings came out of Sunday's game against Denver relatively healthy.

-- Linebacker Raonall Smith, who has been playing solely on special teams, strained his hamstring and probably won't play this week.

-- Strong safety Corey Chavous sprained his right knee in the second half against Denver, but he returned after getting re-taped and will be fine, coach Mike Tice said Monday.

-- Wide receiver Kelly Campbell played through a bruised calf Sunday and will be listed as probable for this week's game against the New York Giants. Campbell will have trouble moving higher than No. 3 on the depth chart because the Vikings are concerned that his size (5-foot-10, 173 pounds) makes him prone to injury. Campbell, who has 249 yards receiving and two touchdowns, typically plays between 20 and 30 snaps. "He's not of the physical stature to play any more than that," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said.

-- Wide receiver D'Wayne Bates, who has missed the last four games with a foot injury, will be listed as probable. He continues to get better, "but not at the pace we would like," Tice said.

-- Defensive tackle Billy Lyon, who has missed two of the last three games with a lower leg injury, is also improving and should be able to play against the Giants.

-- Wide receiver Randy Moss tweaked his chronically sore right ankle Sunday, but he continued to play and won't be affected.


^BENNETT BACK?:@ The Vikings' target for running back Michael Bennett's return had been the Nov. 2 game against Green Bay, but Tice said that's going to be pushed back a week. The team is concerned about Bennett's conditioning, given the length of time he had to spend wearing a protective boot on his left foot after it recovered from surgery in July.

Bennett will probably begin practicing with the team next week.


^BAD CALLS?:@ Tice was disappointed in Minnesota's 14 penalties Sunday, but he was also concerned by some of the non-calls. "Not very pleased with the game, how the game was managed by the crew," he said, indicating he would be sending a tape of particular plays to the league but declining to elaborate for fear of a fine.

One that Tice was probably referring to was the lack of a running-into or roughing-the-kicker call on punter Eddie Johnson, who was bowled over by a Broncos defender in the second half Sunday.


^EXTRA POINTS:@ K Jose Cortez will probably remain on the roster as insurance for at least another week to give Aaron Elling's back more time to heal. WR Nick Davis, who's on the physically unable to perform list, won't be activated until Cortez is cut. ... The Vikings will give RB Onterrio Smith and RB Doug Chapman a chance to return kickoffs this week. John Avery hasn't been effective. Davis is another option once he's activated. ... WR Kenny Clark, if he clears waivers, will probably be brought back to the practice squad this week. In that case, WR Ben Nelson would be released.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index