Rosenthal, Kleinsasser likely out for year

Updated: September 21, 2004, 8:32 PM ET
Associated Press

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings right tackle Mike Rosenthal is likely out for the year with a broken right foot, and season-ending surgery was recommended Tuesday for tight end Jim Kleinsasser's injured right knee.

Rosenthal was hurt in Monday night's game at Philadelphia -- as was tight end Jermaine Wiggins, who will miss two to three weeks with a broken left hand.

Kleinsasser sought a second opinion from renowned Alabama surgeon Dr. James Andrews, coach Mike Tice said. The team wasn't ready yet to put Rosenthal or Kleinsasser on injured reserve, where cornerback Ken Irvin landed last week with a ruptured right Achilles' tendon.

Rosenthal, who signed a six-year contract extension worth about $15 million on Sept. 11, was hurt in the second quarter against the Eagles and replaced by Adam Haayer. Haayer and promising rookie Nat Dorsey willboth play this week against the Bears, but Rosenthal is a tough loss.

"I told him it wasn't career-ending and it wasn't life-threatening and that we don't have to cut his foot off," Tice said. "You try to keep him as lighthearted as you can."

Kleinsasser, who signed a five-year contract worth $15 million in March, is an even bigger blow. One of Minnesota's best run blockers and a reliable receiver, Kleinsasser sustained damage to his anterior cruciate ligament in the season opener against Dallas.

With Wiggins out, rookies Richard Owens and Jeff Dugan are the remaining tight ends. John Paul Foschi, an undrafted free agent from Georgia Tech who was a final cut by the New Jork Jets, will be signed to the practice squad.

Kicker Travis Dorsch and defensive backs Omare Lowe and Earthwind Moreland were released from the practice squad.

The Vikings do have some good news this week. Defensive end Kenny Mixon is back from a two-game, alcohol-related suspension.

Running back Michael Bennett will resume practicing on his sprained right knee, though he probably won't return to action until the Oct. 10 game at Houston after their bye week.

Running back Moe Williams, a short-yardage specialist who missed Monday's game with a sprained right ankle, will be listed as questionable for this Sunday's game against Chicago and should play.

"He looked pretty good this morning," Tice said.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press