Vikings tackle Bryant McKinnie’s decision to spend more time enjoying South Beach nightlife than Pro Bowl practice might result in his missing the game altogether.
Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the feeling around the team is that the lack of practice time, even in an offense as basic as the one the NFC will run on Sunday, will preclude McKinnie from playing in the Pro Bowl game. Craig also reports that there’s some anger toward McKinnie among other players on the team.
Cowboys offensive line coach Hudson Houck, serving in the same capacity for the NFC team, said he wasn’t sure how things will play out.
“It also depends on whether he even wants to play,”Houck told me at the team hotel today. “I don’t know.”
Giants tackle David Diehl, who would have to play a lot more if McKinnie isn’t allowed on the field, also spoke to Craig about the absentee tackle from the Twin Cities.
“I can’t speak for him. All I can speak for is me. I was here for everything. I was prepared and I’m ready to go. I’ll be ready to go tomorrow night.”
You really have to wonder why McKinnie didn’t just bow out of the game like several of his Vikings teammates if he wasn’t interested in playing. No one would have thought twice about it and he could have gone to party in Miami anyway.
If McKinnie doesn’t wind up playing, here’s hoping that the NFL will direct his Pro Bowl share toward a worthy charity in Miami or elsewhere. It obviously doesn’t mean anything to McKinnie, but it would surely be appreciated a great deal by someone else.