Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings interested in Harris?

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Packers, Brad Childress, Antoine Winfield, Brad Childress, Cedric Griffin, Chris Kluwe, Ryan Longwell Updated: November 9, 2010 - 5:47 PM

Al Harris has hit the open market after clearing waivers, according to the National Football Post, and the agent for the veteran cornerback told the website he is currently in negotiations with multiple teams.

Is one of those teams the Vikings?

It's believed Minnesota has at least expressed some level of interest in the 35-year-old Harris, whose 2009 season came to an end when he suffered a significant injury to his left knee in Week 11 while attempting to make a tackle on San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Harris opened this season on the physically unable to perform list and the Packers decided to cut him on Monday.

It's unclear if the Vikings are one of the teams with which Bechta is currently negotiating.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did a story on Harris this offseason in which the amount of damage done to his knee was describted. "It is a very rare injury," said Joe Caroccio, who began work with Harris at the Atlantic Rehab Center in Florida in January. "He had a torn anterior cruciate ligament, torn lateral collateral ligament, torn iliotibial band, fibular collateral ligament and torn lateral hamstring."

The Vikings have been using Antoine Winfield and Asher Allen as their starting cornerbacks with Chris Cook, Lito Sheppard and Frank Walker behind them. Cook, Sheppard and Walker all have seem time in the nickel defense and Sheppard was even used in a dime defense last Sunday against Arizona.

Walker was signed by the Vikings after Cedric Griffin suffered another ACL injury on Oct. 11 that will keep him out for the season. Walker, who hadn't been with a team before joining Minnesota, missed the Cardinals game because of a hamstring injury; Sheppard had missed the previous two games because of a broken hand.

Harris had been practicing with the Packers before they decided to let him go. Any team that signs him is going to want to have its own doctors perform a physical to see how his knee has progressed.

Harris has been with Green Bay since the 2003 season and was with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1998 to 2002. Vikings coach Brad Childress, who hasn't hesitated to sign former Eagles during his four-plus seasons with the Vikings, was on the Philadelphia coaching staff during Harris' final four seasons with the team.

Vikings coach Brad Childress was asked Monday about Harris being available and downplayed it a bit. "I'm sure we'll go through and look at tape," Childress said. "But Al's had a great, great career. No, I don't know if there's a spot right now for us in that area."

KLUWE EARNS HONOR

Vikings punter Chris Kluwe was named NFC special teams player of the week after he placed all four of his punts on Sunday inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Kluwe pinned Arizona at its own 1-yard line late in the first quarter and averaged 47.8 gross yards and 46.0 net yards.

Kluwe, who earned the first player of the week award of his six-year career, is second in the NFL with a 42.2 net punting average and first with just 45 return yards allowed among players with 20 or more punts on the season.
 
Kluwe, who also served as the holder for kicker Ryan Longwell's game-winning field goal in overtime Sunday, was named NFC special teams player of the month in September 2005. 
 
 
 

 

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