(Following post is from M.K. Welch, Sports Talk Show Host at ESPN Aberdeen)

Vikings CB Marcus Sherels opened everybody’s eyes Saturday night in the preseason game at Seattle. After losing a fumble on a punt return, Sherels picked off T-Jack and returned the interception 64 yards to the end zone. Marcus Sherels is 23 years old, he went to the University of Minnesota, was on the practice squad last year, and has now won over the fans. The Vikings have not been even a little bit exciting offensively in the first two games of the preseason (part of that is Musgrave installing a new offense) and Sherels’ interception has been the only excitement Vikings fans have gotten so far.

Sherels got his opportunity to wow the fans last night because of injuries. Injuries have increased significantly this preseason across the board. We knew that this was going to happen during the lockout. Without the OTA workouts and time with trainers that players would normally have leading up to training camp were cancelled. We all hoped for the players to go into camp in shape and that they would have kept up the workouts on their own. Fans can hope all we want to, but players doing all of that on their own is just unrealistic.

The Vikings have been hit by the injury bug hard in recent years, and this year they already have 3 players on the injury report:

WR Percy Harvin (Ribs) Questionable for Aug. 27

TE Visanthe Shiancoe (Hamstring) Questionable for Aug. 27. Probable for start of season.

LB Kenny Onatolu (Foot) Questionable for Aug. 27

The players who have been showing up on the Vikings injury report this preseason:

WR Greg Camarillo (groin)

G Anthony Herrera (knee/triceps)

LB Heath Farwell (hamstring)

Normally, 3 players on the injury report and 3 more with who just came off the report wouldn’t be of any note. Most seasons, 3 injured players on the report would be a shoulder shrugger, but because of the lockout, the Vikings are one of the teams with the least injuries to their team.

If you’ve been paying attention to the preseason, players have been dropping like flies. When the NFL lockout ended, I think everybody downplayed the injury implications because we just didn’t want to believe that it would be this much of a factor.

This just confirms to me what I already knew about the owners. They view their players as products and nothing more. They cared more about a small increase in their share of revenue than their employees. The owners are business men and the harsh reality is that people are going to watch the NFL regardless of who’s playing.

That said, because of the injuries that we’ve seen, players like Marcus Sherels are getting the opportunity to rise up and show their ability. That can also be said about the TE position. Visanthe Shiancoe did not come to camp prepared and pulled his hamstring. Rookie Kyle Rudolph came to camp prepared and not only has he proven himself to be a viable option at TE, but he and Donovan McNabb are clearly building good chemistry.