© St. Petersburg Times, published September 17, 2002
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Vikings have offered Gary Anderson, the NFL's career scoring leader, a contract to return as their placekicker.
Doug Brien, the team's current kicker, missed a 44-yard field goal and two extra points in Minnesota's 45-39 overtime loss to the Bills on Sunday. Vikings coach Mike Tice indicated after the game and in Monday's news conference that he was looking to make a change.
If the 43-year-old Anderson rejoins the Vikings, Brien probably will remain with the team for kickoff duty and for long field goals, Tice said. Anderson, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, made 15 of 18 field-goal attempts for Minnesota last season, though his longest was only 43 yards.
"We're not going to release Doug Brien until we find out if we're going to get Gary done, and if we can find a guy out there that can kick off as well as Doug's kicked off," Tice said.
Brien, who was nearly cut after missing four of his five field goals in the preseason, went 3-for-3 in the Vikings' regular-season opener against Chicago, then made his first two attempts against Buffalo before missing.
Anderson, a native of South Africa, became a free agent after the 2001 season, when he led the Vikings with 74 points. He has 2,133 career points and broke George Blanda's NFL scoring record in 2000.
Tight end Jim Kleinsasser will be out 2-4 weeks with a broken bone in his leg and defensive tackle Talance Sawyer will miss 2-4 weeks with a broken bone in his knee.
CARDINALS: Offensive tackle L.J. Shelton's sprained right ankle was in a protective boot and his status was uncertain for Sunday's game against San Diego.
COWBOYS: Offensive lineman Larry Allen has a sprained left ankle and was listed as day to day. Offensive tackle Aaron Gibson's return was uncertain after missing Sunday's game with a strained left shoulder.
DOLPHINS: An MRI on cornerback Patrick Surtain's left knee showed no torn ligaments, but he has a sprain and bruise and is questionable for Sunday's game against the Jets.
FALCONS: Guard Roberto Garza broke a bone in his foot in the loss to Chicago and will miss 6-8 weeks. Coach Dan Reeves said the injury will require surgery. Kynan Forney likely will replace Garza.
49ERS: Starting safety Zack Bronson is doubtful for Sunday's game against Washington with a sprained shoulder.
LIONS: Offensive lineman Kerlin Blaise is scheduled for season-ending knee surgery this week. Defensive tackle Shaun Rogers broke a thumb and is scheduled for surgery that will keep him out for the next two games.
PACKERS: Offensive lineman Mark Tauscher will be out up to eight weeks with a knee injury and Ahman Green could also miss the game Sunday at Detroit. Tauscher, who may have arthroscopic surgery today, will be replaced by Earl Dotson. Green strained his quads tendon and his knee flared up during the loss to the Saints. Rondell Healey may replace Green.
PANTHERS: Rodney Peete was named the permanent starting quarterback after throwing for 310 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's victory over Detroit. His passing total was his best since the 36-year-old threw for 323 on Sept. 27, 1992, while with Detroit.
SEAHAWKS: Pro Bowl offensive tackle Walter Jones signed a one-year, $4.92-million contract as the team's "franchise player" and reported to practice.
TITANS: Running back Eddie George went to an emergency room with pain in his left foot a few hours after Sunday's loss to Dallas. He was put in a walking boot and is scheduled for more tests.