MANKATO, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield says the organization "really had no choice" but to release former Pro Bowl left tackle Bryant McKinnie because he was out of shape.
The Vikings made the surprising move on Tuesday afternoon, and several prominent players spoke up in support of head coach Leslie Frazier after practice on Wednesday. McKinnie reported to training camp on Sunday out of shape and overweight and did not participate in the first two practices before being cut.
Left guard Steve Hutchinson, who played alongside McKinnie for five seasons, says he was disappointed that the seventh overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft didn't show up in better shape after the summer-long lockout.
Now the Vikings' plan to start Charlie Johnson at left tackle. The former Indianapolis Colts tackle just signed on Monday and says he has a lot of catching up to do.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press