EDEN PRAIRIE (AP) -- Minnesota wide receiver D'Wayne Bates faces his former team, the Chicago Bears, this weekend, and the Vikings hope he's not too pumped up.
"Sometimes you grit your teeth too much," coach Mike Tice said. "We don't want D'Wayne to go out and feel like he has to do too much to help us win."
Bates isn't worried about his adrenaline.
"I'm very relaxed," Bates said. "I'm not looking at is as playing against my old team. I just want to go out and play like I would in any other game."
Bates was picked up by the Vikings after a bizarre string of offseason events.
He was a restricted free agent, so the Bears should've been entitled to a compensatory draft pick if they didn't match Minnesota's offer sheet for a three-year, $2.85 million contract. But Chicago made a clerical error when filing the paperwork accompanying their tender offer earlier in the offseason, so they wouldn't have gotten anything if they'd let Bates go.
So the Bears ultimately matched Minnesota's offer ... and waived him a day later after attempts to restructure his contract failed.
"We hated to lose D'Wayne Bates," said Chicago coach Dick Jauron. "What a terrific young guy. Hard worker. He's a good receiver. We're glad he found a home -- wish it wasn't in our division -- but that's the way it worked."
BRIEN SURVIVES: Doug Brien, who missed four of five field goals in the preseason, survived a five-man kick-off Tuesday and saved his job. The Vikings have no plans to look at anyone else.
"I really haven't concerned myself too much with the extracurricular stuff," said Brien, an eight-year veteran signed by Minnesota this spring to replace the NFL's all-time leading scorer, the now-retired Gary Anderson.
"It's really the same approach," Brien said. "It's kind of like the life of a kicker in the NFL -- it's kick-to-kick."
INJURY REPORT: Rookie return man Nick Davis probably won't play this weekend because of a pulled hamstring. He's listed as questionable this week.
"We'll just see how he progresses through the week," Tice said. "My experience over the years with pulls on guys who need their speed is not to rush them back, because it could turn a one-week injury into a three-week or four-week injury."
Running back James Wofford is next in line to return kickoffs and punts, but the Vikings won't make a decision until they're more certain of Davis' status. They'll have a better idea on Thursday.
Rookie linebacker Raonall Smith (shoulder), fullback and special teams ace Harold Morrow (hamstring), wide receiver Cedric James (hand) are also questionable for Sunday's game against the Bears.
Corbin Lacina, who has had problems with his ankles, is listed as probable. He'll start at left guard, with Everett Lindsay playing left tackle for Lewis Kelly, who isn't with the team as he continues to grieve the death of his wife, Rakiva.
OH, CAPTAIN: The Vikings voted on their captains for the 2002 season: quarterback Daunte Culpepper and center Matt Birk on offense; defensive tackle Chris Hovan and cornerback Corey Chavous on defense; and Chris Walsh on special teams.
"We're very proud of those five guys," Tice said. "Hopefully they'll lead us to victory more than they lead us to defeat."
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