Training camp is underway in Mankato. While it’s very early and most of newly acquired players (Donovan McNabb being one) can’t practice until Thursday, there was an interesting development today. And I hate to use the word “interesting” but we just don’t have much information right now.
Offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie did not practice today and was put on the non-injury football list, which means he cannot currently practice with the team yet and the Vikings can also withhold money from him. When asked if he was injured or why he was out McKinnie simply said, “I got some issues.”
1500ESPN’s Tom Pelissero reported today that McKinnie appears to be “well over” his listed weight of 335 pounds. This is the same McKinnie who said last year he played at closer to 360 while having a poor year and it was widely expected that several offensive linemen would show up out of shape after the lockout ended. Unfortunately we have one of them.
It’s a bit unknown as to where the Vikings go from here with regards to their left tackle position. Most likely McKinnie’s fat butt is whipped into shape over the next few weeks. If there’s the chance he’s cut that’s going to have to be soon. Leslie Frazier (who has the tendency of liking everyone… almost loyal to a fault… see Berrian, Bernard) didn’t exactly defend McKinnie by saying “We’re working through some things.” And as Dan wrote early today Charlie Johnson was signed to a 3-year deal, which is likely linked to McKinnie in some way.
Many Vikings fans are sick of McKinnie’s underachieving ways, fraternity boy like party habits and have called for a different player to protect the quarterback’s blind side. The fact also remains though that he has graded out the past few seasons as a top 10 left tackle while having a manageable salary considering the importance of that position. We’re at the point though now where if Frazier truly wants to set an example to remainder of it’s offensive line cutting McKinnie may serve as an addition by subtraction. A 360-pound subtraction with a bad back.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig