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Vikes owner lashes out at Fox announcer

Fox Sports turned down Vikings owner Red McCombs' request to remove play-by-play announcer Joe Buck from Sunday's game at Philadelphia over his criticism of Randy Moss.

After Moss caught a touchdown pass in last weekend's win at Green Bay, the wide receiver celebrated by pretending to pull down his pants and moon Packers fans. Buck immediately called it a "disgusting act."

McCombs said that statement was out of line. A two-sentence news release issued by the team said McCombs felt Buck's comments "suggested a prejudice that surpassed objective reporting."

Dan Bell, a Fox spokesman, said Wednesday the network has "no intention whatsoever" of removing Buck.

Buck, during an interview on Sporting News Radio earlier this week, stood by his criticism.

"I have nothing against Randy Moss," Buck said. "I don't even know the guy. I just know that with the history that he's had, and coming off that game at Washington, it was just stunning to see that."

Meanwhile, Moss didn't practice because of a sprained right ankle, but he's listed as probable for Sunday's playoff game at Philadelphia. The wide receiver aggravated the injury several times during his seven-year career, most recently in Minnesota's 31-17 win at Green Bay last week. A partial hamstring tear caused Moss to miss three games this season and play sparingly in two others.

Also held out of practice were strong safety Corey Chavous, who is doubtful with a broken left elbow, and running back Moe Williams, doubtful with a sprained right ankle. Wide receiver Kelly Campbell, who has a separated right shoulder, and linebacker Mike Nattiel, who has a hyperextended right knee, did practice and are probable for the Eagles game.

EAGLES: Linebacker Mark Simoneau is doubtful for Sunday's playoff game against Minnesota because of a strained ankle. Simoneau, who moved from middle linebacker to the weakside spot midway through the season, was injured in Philadelphia's final regular-season game against Cincinnati. Former starter Nate Wayneand Keith Adams likely will split time in Simoneau's place. Wide receiver Terrell Owens, out with an injured ankle, is the only other Eagles player expected to miss the NFC divisional playoff against the Vikings. Owens might be able to return for the Super Bowl should Philadelphia get that far. All-Pro free safety Brian Dawkins practiced for the first time after having the flu for more than a week. Defensive tackle Hollis Thomas (elbow) and defensive end Derrick Burgess(chest) are back after missing the final part of the season.

RAMS: Already suspect on defense, the Rams don't plan on letting Falcons quarterback Michael Vick out of their sight. Stopping him could be another matter. In Week 2, Vick had one of his best games of the season, rushing for 109 yards, completing 14-of-19 passes for 179 yards and leading the Falcons to a 34-17 victory over St. Louis. "He's probably the best all-around player in the league," Rams coach Mike Martz said. "Obviously, he's the best athlete. You've got to account for him first and foremost."

_ TIMES WIRES

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