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Updated: August 24th, 2012 6:20pm
Mistral Raymond, Ryan D'Imperio scratched for Vikings against Chargers

Mistral Raymond, Ryan D'Imperio scratched for Vikings against Chargers

by Tom Pelissero
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Safety Mistral Raymond was scratched for the Minnesota Vikings' game on Friday against San Diego because of lower-back issues in pregame warmups, the team announced.

Raymond has appeared to be the front-runner in his competition with Jamarca Sanford for the starting job opposite Harrison Smith. But Sanford was slated to start Friday's game anyway.

Backup fullback Ryan D'Imperio also was a surprise scratch against the Chargers, who decided not to play starting quarterback Philip Rivers and five other starters.

D'Imperio, who also is a core special teamer, practiced on Wednesday and had no known injury since training camp began.

Also inactive for the Vikings were: receiver Kamar Jorden (hand), cornerback Chris Cook (concussion), guard Bridger Buche (knee), guard Geoff Schwartz (sports hernia surgery), tight end John Carlson (knee), nose tackle Letroy Guion (knee) and halfback Adrian Peterson, who won't play in the preseason as he continues to recover from left knee reconstruction.

Toby Gerhart once again was listed as the starter in place of Peterson. Fred Evans was slated to start for Guion and Chris Carr for Cook.

Linebacker Larry Dean (shoulder) and tackle DeMarcus Love (pectoral) weren't on the scratch list but didn't suit up either.

Two other players coach Leslie Frazier categorized as questionable -- linebacker Solomon Elimimian (hamstring) and safety Robert Blanton (hamstring) -- were in uniform. So was halfback Jordan Todman, who missed the first two preseason games with a sprained ankle.

The Chargers announced they were scratching Rivers because they wanted backup Charlie Whitehurst on the road. But it probably had something to do with facing the Vikings' pass rush without starting left tackle Jared Gaither, left guard Rex Hadnot and center Nick Hardwick (concussion).

Other starters sitting out for the Chargers were tight end Antonio Gates (healthy scratch), halfback Ryan Mathews (collarbone) and nose tackle Antonio Garay (sprained ankle).

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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