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Updated: August 3rd, 2012 12:10pm
Vikings looking for o-linemen after Geoff Schwartz is sent for tests

Vikings looking for o-linemen after Geoff Schwartz is sent for tests

by Tom Pelissero
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MANKATO, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings have sent Geoff Schwartz back to the Twin Cities for tests on an abdominal strain to make sure it's not related to the hip surgery that sidelined him all of last season.

Coach Leslie Frazier said on Friday morning Schwartz, who has been competing with Brandon Fusco for the starting job at right guard, raised red flags when he complained of trouble turning to one side in practice.

"Just couldn't make any of the adjustments he needed to make when he turned in that direction," Frazier said. "Obviously, for an offensive lineman, we want him to be able to turn in either direction with ease. He's having trouble doing that, and so we wanted to go back and get it checked out and find out what's going on."

Schwartz, 26, played in 32 games (19 starts) with the Carolina Panthers in 2009 and '10 while current Vikings offensive line coach Jeff Davidson was the coordinator there. But he spent last season on injured reserve after the hip surgery in August.

Healthy again, Schwartz passed a physical and signed a one-year contract with the Vikings in March that included $150,000 in bonuses, a base salary of $550,000 and $600,000 in play-time based incentives. He was limited in practice throughout the offseason while working on his conditioning.

Schwartz's new injury leaves the Vikings with only 12 healthy offensive linemen. DeMarcus Love (shoulder) is sidelined indefinitely, and Pat Brown will miss at least a couple of days after suffering a Grade 1 strain of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee on Thursday.

The Vikings have been actively monitoring the waiver wire for depth, since any player who hasn't been in a camp this year wouldn't be permitted to practice for at least three days.

Former Eastern Michigan offensive lineman Bridger Buche, who was waived three days ago by the Pittsburgh Steelers, was among a group scheduled to work out for the Vikings on Friday.

"We're going to bring in some guys to work out and take a look, because you don't want to get down to 11 or 10," Frazier said. "So, we do have to bring some guys in, and Rick (Spielman, the Vikings GM) and his staff are looking at some guys right now that we're going to try to bring in and work out."

Veteran tackle Jeff Otah, who was cut by Carolina on Thursday after failing a physical, isn't ready to play at this time, an NFL source said.

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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