Bennett returns to action for Vikings

Updated: November 3, 2003, 8:12 AM ET

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Vikings running back Michael Bennett returned to action on Sunday night for the first time since breaking a bone in his left foot during the offseason.

Bennett, who ran for 1,296 yards last season and played in the Pro Bowl, drew a loud ovation from the announced crowd of 64,482 as he was introduced in the starting lineup.

By the end of the third quarter, Bennett had eight carries for 43 yards.

His first big run came in the second quarter on a 13-yard carry to the Green Bay nine, which helped set up Daunte Culpepper's 4-yard TD pass to Jim Kleinsasser.

The speedy, third-year running back and former Big Ten sprint champion from the University of Wisconsin suffered the injury while running on a treadmill in March. The injury threatened his season and Bennett elected to have a procedure in July to speed the healing process.

He wore a protective boot for weeks and returned to practice 1{ weeks ago.


^DEFENSIVE STRUGGLES:@ It was another rough game for the Vikings defense.

A week after giving up 450 total yards to the New York Giants, the defense allowed 317 yards in the first half against Green Bay -- that's an average of 8.3 per play.

But Minnesota, which had 151 total yards by halftime, only trailed 20-14 at halftime thanks to Corey Chavous' interception off Brett Favre in the second quarter. Chavous returned the interception -- his seventh of the season -- 25 yards into Green Bay territory.


^INJURIES:@ OT Bryant McKinnie sprained his left knee in the first quarter. He continued to play and later gave up a sack before reaggravating the injury in the second quarter. He didn't return. ... CB Ken Irvin left the game in the second quarter with an upset stomach.


^EXTRA POINTS:@ The announced attendance of 64,482 was the largest ever to watch a Vikings home game and a franchise-record 61st consecutive sellout. ... The Vikings' deactivations were CB Rushen Jones, RB Doug Chapman, LB Raonall Smith, OT Lewis Kelly, WR Nick Davis, DE Chuck Wiley, DT Cedric Killings and Shaun Hill was the third quarterback.

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