Campbell sorely missed, should be back against Pack

Updated: October 28, 2003, 8:52 AM ET
ESPN

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The smallest player on the Vikings' roster was clearly missed on Sunday.

Speedy wide receiver Kelly Campbell, who's listed at 5-foot-10 and 173 pounds, sat out with a bruised calf. A strained hamstring kept D'Wayne Bates out for all but the final series of the game, too, so Minnesota was left with only two healthy receivers suited up behind Randy Moss -- rookies Nate Burleson and Keenan Howry.

Coach Mike Tice and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan are planning on Campbell playing this week, and Bates should also see more time.

"Kelly's speed is something we count on," Linehan said. "He would have had some pretty good looks yesterday."

Howry had two receptions for 15 yards on Sunday, but his route wasn't deep enough on the interception Daunte Culpepper threw to set up the New York Giants' clinching score in the 29-17 victory. Of course, there were other problems on that play, too, and several other factors throughout the afternoon that led to the defeat.

"You can't blame the injuries for not winning the game," Linehan said.

CHANGE OF PLANS: Although required to show up for weightlifting and running sessions, players were each given Monday off this season as a reward for winning. Thanks to Sunday's loss, Monday was a full work day.

But nobody sounded disappointed, instead eager to improve on what they did wrong against the Giants.

"It'll be good for us in a lot of ways," strong safety Corey Chavous said.

With Mondays off (and Tuesdays, when players typically participate in charity and community events), film sessions were moved to Wednesdays -- and as a result, condensed.

"So what happens is you look at that correction tape on Wednesday, and here's a player just coming off a win ... getting told, 'You did this wrong, you did this wrong, you did this wrong," Tice said. "A person is to say ... 'We just won, why are they banging on us with all these corrections?"

The team will now spend time after practice Wednesday, win or lose, and evaluate the entire game film.

KICKIN' IT: Tice wasn't ready to get rid of kicker Jose Cortez just yet on Monday, although his time with the team could end this week. Cortez handled kickoffs for the second week in a row as a precaution for Aaron Elling, who had back spasms two weeks ago.

The decision on Cortez will probably be deferred until the Vikings have a better idea of their injury situation. Running back Michael Bennett will be activated this week, so he could take Cortez's place.

Elling made a career-long 51-yard field goal but missed a 54-yarder. The miss made Tice wary, twice, of trying 50-plus yarders -- choosing instead to pin the Giants deep in their own territory of a punt.

But Tice said he still has confidence in the rookie and wouldn't consider replacing him on field goals with Cortez, who has had an erratic career with San Francisco and Washington.

EXTRA POINTS: Ken Irvin will replace Brian Williams as the starter at right cornerback this week, Tice said. ... Howry will continue to get a look as the kick returner, possibly along with Onterrio Smith or Nick Davis.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index