Vikings DE James out for season with torn ACL
The Vikings placed James on injured reserve Tuesday and signed Jayme Mitchell from the practice squad to take his place.
James got hurt on a running play late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 16-13 overtime win over Carolina. He will likely rehabilitate the knee for a couple of weeks before having the operation, coach Brad Childress said Monday.
Vance Malinovic, one of James' agents, didn't immediately return a phone call. James, the third defensive player to suffer a season-ending injury for Minnesota, was not in the locker room when it was opened to the media on Monday.
Safety Tank Williams broke his left kneecap in training camp, and rookie linebacker Chad Greenway tore the ACL in his left knee in the team's first preseason game. Also, cornerback Dovonte Edwards broke his right arm in the final preseason game and was placed on injured reserve.
In two games, James had only two tackles, but the Vikings were hoping for a breakout season from the 2005 first-round draft pick out of Wisconsin. A contract dispute kept him out of the first 10 days of training camp last year, and his progress was slow after that.
"You could see him coming and getting better and better every day, both playing the run and playing the pass," Childress said. "Like I said, he's put himself in a position, with the effort and the hard work in the offseason -- and that's the disappointing part of this game."
With James out, Darrion Scott is most likely to replace him in the starting lineup. Childress said a roster move would be made by Wednesday, but he didn't provide specifics on how the position would be filled.
Four other players were hurt against the Panthers, but Childress said Monday they were all minor. Receiver Troy Williamson (shoulder), linebacker Napoleon Harris (quadriceps), cornerback Antoine Winfield (head) and Marcus Robinson (hamstring) all returned to the game after their injuries.
Running back Ciatrick Fason (shoulder) did not dress on Sunday.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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