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Updated: August 24th, 2011 4:16pm
Visanthe Shiancoe sidelined again after setback with ailing hamstring

Visanthe Shiancoe sidelined again after setback with ailing hamstring

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Visanthe Shiancoe had a setback with his ailing hamstring on Tuesday, but Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier downplayed the injury, saying the team is taking precautions to make sure its starting tight end is ready for the Sept. 11 opener at San Diego.

"It wasn't a major setback -- just enough where (there was) no reason to chance it, where he could possibly be out of that first game," Frazier said after Wednesday's practice. "So, we'll give him a chance just to get back to full speed and so he can help our team."

Shiancoe first injured the hamstring on Aug. 8 and missed two weeks before returning on Monday. He apparently tweaked the hamstring again on Tuesday and now seems likely to miss a third consecutive preseason game on Saturday against Dallas.

"You'd like to have him," Frazier said. "You'd like to have all 11 guys in this particular game. But it's an injury, and the smart thing for us to do is not press it and give him a chance to be ready when the real games start. Just have to deal with that."

Meanwhile, backup linebacker Jasper Brinkley's disappointing preseason took an unexpected turn when he was sidelined with a hip flexor problem.

"It goes back to the end of our season a year ago," Frazier said of the injury, which could explain Brinkley's failure to close on several tackles in exhibitions at Tennessee and Seattle.

"Of course, we weren't around the players during the summer months or the spring, so we didn't really have a chance to work with them. But it's something that's going to take a little time, and he should be fine in time, but we've got to give him a little rest."

Brinkley acknowledged he "didn't pay to the best of my ability" against the Seahawks but was vague about the injury.

"I don't really know," Brinkley said. "I don't really know what's going on with me right now. So, just kind of wait and see."

Continuing to sit out practice were defensive tackle Kevin Williams (foot), cornerback Asher Allen (toe), linebackers Ross Homan (concussion) and Mark Washington (shoulder stinger) and halfback Toby Gerhart, who underwent tests that showed no significant problem with his ankle or Achilles.

"We had an MRI done, and everything is fine," Frazier said. "Just got to give him a little rest, and he should be fine -- no injuries there."

Gerhart said he still hopes to play on Saturday, but that seems like a long shot after three consecutive missed days of practice.

"It's definitely frustrating especially when the whole team is out there and you're kind of standing there watching," Gerhart said. "You want to be out there with the guys. and I don't think there's a worse feeling than not being able to be on the field."

Rookie fullback Matt Asiata (hip flexor) returned to practice. So did receiver Juaquin Iglesias, who left Tuesday's practice after falling hard on his left side in a collision with teammate Eric Frampton.

Judd Zulgad contributed.

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