James on injured reserve after second knee injury

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Erasmus James' comeback from major knee surgery lasted all of three or four plays.

The Minnesota Vikings defensive end was placed on injured reserve Friday and will need surgery again to repair the ACL in his left knee.

James, injured early in Sunday's game against Detroit, first tore his left ACL in Week 2 last season. He missed the rest of that season and a good portion of 2007 working his way back into shape.

After several setbacks, it appeared he was back on track when he reclaimed his starting spot at left defensive end last week against the Lions. Minnesota coach Brad Childress said James "had an episode" on the third or fourth play of the game but was able to finish. An MRI revealed the injury.

Childress said it was tough to see James injured so quickly after a long and arduous rehab.

"He just kept pushing and pushing and pushing through there," Childress said. "He was to the point where he could put it on the field and bring it pretty good, and it just tells you how fragile those things are."

It was the second significant blow to the Vikings defensive line this week. Ray Edwards, who started the first 11 games before giving way to James last week, was suspended on Wednesday for violating the NFL's policy on steroids.

The Vikings will turn to rookie Brian Robison and second-year pro Jayme Mitchell to fill in for James, the 18th overall pick out of Wisconsin in 2005.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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