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.


Game scratches and a new LB

Posted by: Mark Craig under NFC, Anthony Herrera, Heath Farwell, Kevin Williams, Tyrell Johnson, Visanthe Shiancoe Updated: August 27, 2011 - 6:47 PM

Tonight's scratches aren't a surprise, but here they are: Asher Allen (toe), Kevin Williams (plantar fasciitis), Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring), Ross Homan (concussion), Kenny Onatolu (foot), Toby Gerhart (Achilles' tendon/ankle), Heath Farwell (hamstring) . Onatolu practice last week, but it was his first week of practice since suffering a stress fracture in his foot.

Jasper Brinkley (hip) is not on the list of scratches, but he isn't expected to play.

Anthony Herrera, as expected, will start in his first preseason action. Also as expected, Jamarca Sanford will start at strong safety as his battle with Tyrell Johnson continues.

Meanwhile, David Herron is in uniform, wearing No. 58, a day after joining the team. He'll probably play since the linebacking corps is so depleted. Homan, Brinkley and Farwell are out, and Mark Washington was released Friday.

The Cowboys have 11 scratches, including starting corners Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman, starting receiver Miles Austin, No. 1 kicker David Buehler, starting center Andre Gurode, starting guard Phil Costa and starting defensive end Marcus Spears.

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