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.


Shiancoe won't play Saturday night

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Vikings coaches, Leslie Frazier, Leslie Frazier, Steve Hutchinson, Tyrell Johnson, Visanthe Shiancoe Updated: August 10, 2011 - 12:06 PM

MANKATO -- The Vikings would like nothing more than to get a look at their new offense with all of its pieces in place. But that's not going to happen.

Coach Leslie Frazier said tight end Visanthe Shiancoe will miss Saturday night's preseason at Tennessee. Shiancoe missed his second day of practice today with a hamstring injury.

"I don't see any reason with the window that we have to put him out there," Frazier said. "We've got plenty of time to see Visanthe. We want to see some of those other guys that we want to evaluate."

Jim Kleinsasser and Jeff Dugan will be 1-2 in the two tight-end sets. Rookie Kyle Rudolph will see extra playing time because of Shiancoe's absence.

Other highlights today ...

  • Rookie receiver Stephen Burton's camp struggles continued when he inexplicably swatted a Hail Mary pass away from tight end Allen Reisner, who was about to catch the ball for a touchdown. "You usually don't see that one," said Frazier, who joked that maybe Burton had a flashback to his days as a defensive back in high school.
  • Rookie Mistral Raymond benefitted from starting safety Husain Abdullah's absence today. Abdullah was invited to the White House for the President's Iftar meal as part of Ramadan. Raymond ran with the first unit at free safety. Jamarca Sanford was moved to Abdullah's strong safety spot, so Raymond could be the free safety. Abdullah is scheduled to return Thursday night, so he'll miss tomorrow's practice and walkthrough.
  • Tyrell Johnson returned after missing two days because of a hamstring injury. He ran with the second unit.
  • LT Charlie Johnson left the field briefly and worked with a trainer. Frazier said Johnson had a problem with his hip. Johnson returned to the field.
  • LG Steve Hutchinson continues to get some plays off because of a shoulder and pectoral issue. But he's looked good. Seems to be in better shape.
  • The Vikings will work out some free agent corners, including Tony Carter. Frazier said the team needs some more cornerback legs in camp. Marcell Gipson chose not to return to the team after his grandmother died.
  • Frazier said he and the players aren't thinking about the team's stadium issues, even though the you-know-what could be hitting the fan since the team is in the last year of its contract with the Metrodome. "We have so many other things," Frazier said. "That's not even on my radar or the players' [radar]. Our plate is full."
  • Joe Webb will run with the second unit on Saturday night. Christian Ponder will go with the third team. Frazier said that could reverse the following Saturday at Seattle.
  • Frazier said the starters will get only a few plays, probably in just one series, on Saturday night.  
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