MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Vikings announced several changes for coping with heat at training camp, include the on-field presence of a doctor during all practices.
Last summer, Vikings tackle Korey Stringer died from heat-related causes after collapsing during the second day of training camp in Mankato. In announcing the changes Wednesday, Vikings officials downplayed a connection to Stringer's death.
But the team said the changes were suggested in a report produced last fall by the Minnesota Occupational and Safety Health Administration, which studied the Vikings' procedures after Stringer's death.
The changes include adding large sun canopies on the field during practice, new portable cooling units in the cafeteria and having players wear yellow rather than purple jerseys. Lighter colors reflect the sun's heat, while darker ones absorb it.
"We believe the practices and procedures that existed at the 2001 camp were sound, as reflected by the findings of the (OSHA) investigation," the Vikings said in a statement. "Nothing in what we are now doing in any way reflects dissatisfaction with what was done before. Any practices and procedures can be enhanced, however."
Stringer collapsed after a July 31 morning practice in Mankato on a day the heat index eventually reached 110 degrees. He died Aug. 1 of complications from heat stroke.
Stringer's wife, Kelci, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Vikings. Attorneys began taking depositions this spring and a trial is scheduled for next summer.
After reviewing the Vikings' changes, Stringer family attorney Paul DeMarco said, "It's clear that all of these precautions were feasible last year."
At the training camp, the Vikings previously provided water, an air-conditioned first-aid station at the practice field, kept track of heat and humidity and its effect on players' weight loss.
The Vikings begin training camp on July 26 at Minnesota State University Mankato.
Red Sox-Twins game time changed for TV
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Aug. 18 game between the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins has been changed from 1:05 p.m. to 7:05 p.m.
The change was made to accommodate ESPN, which will televise the contest as its Game of the Week.
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