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Updated: October 21st, 2013 6:21pm
Matt Kalil, questionable with back tightness, is active for Vikings

Matt Kalil, questionable with back tightness, is active for Vikings

by Andrew Krammer
1500ESPN.com
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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel went from starter one week to healthy scratch the next as he's one of their inactives against the New York Giants on Monday night. 


Among other healthy sits are rookie linebacker Gerald Hodges, defensive tackle Chase Baker, defensive end Justin Trattou and rookie guard Jeff Baca. Quarterback Josh Freeman will make his first start since joining the team just two weeks ago. 

Cornerback A.J. Jefferson (ankle) was doubtful and will not dress as newly signed cornerback Jacob Lacey is expected to take his spot near the bottom of the depth chart. Coach Leslie Frazier gave no indication he would back off from starting cornerback Josh Robinson in the slot during nickel formations, but Lacey played that role during training camp in August. 

Hodges said he expected to be active on Monday night, but the Vikings will roll with linebacker Larry Dean as the lone reserve listed on the weak-side. It's possible they can shuffle middle linebacker Erin Henderson back to the weak-side if there was an injury to starter Marvin Mitchell. Linebacker Desmond Bishop tore his ACL in the loss to the Carolina Panthers after getting his first start over Mitchell last week. 

Linebackers Audie Cole and rookie Michael Mauti are active as replacements in the middle aside from special teams duties. 

Receiver Rodney Smith (hip) will be inactive for the first game after being promoted to the 53-man roster last week. 

At one point in the week, kicker Blair Walsh (hamstring) was considered a 'game-time decision,' but he's active after being listed as probable on Saturday's injury report. 

Andrew Krammer covers the Minnesota Vikings for 1500ESPN.com. He previously covered the Gophers men's basketball team for the Minnesota Daily.
Email Andrew | @andrew_krammer
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