Vikings: Onterrio Smith stays ready with simulations Kevin Seifert, Star Tribune November 3, 2004 VNOT1103 Day after day, running back Onterrio Smith trudged off to the Vikings' indoor practice facility, accompanied only by assistant strength and conditioning coach Mark Ellis.Together, they created a mock game to simulate the action Smith was missing while serving a four-week suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. Typically, the drill included four series of 12 plays, with a 35-second play clock keeping the pace.The mock games, along with daily work in the Winter Park weight room to pass the time, left Smith a chiseled 216 pounds when he returned to practice Tuesday. "He doesn't look good," coach Mike Tice said. "He looks fantastic."Smith might not start Monday night's game at Indianapolis, but he will play extensively as the Vikings prepare for what probably will be their first game in seven years without receiver Randy Moss."I expect to come in and get thrown out there as soon as possible," Smith said. He took advantage of a change in league policy that allows suspended players to continue working with teammates and coaches, provided they do not participate in practice."I wouldn't even say I'm rusty because I was still able to go to meetings," Smith said. "I was in there, seeing everything that everyone else was seeing from the opposing team. So I didn't miss a beat. I couldn't get out on the field for practice, but everything else, I'm sharp on."Moss updateLike a handful of other veterans, Moss was excused from Tuesday's schedule of meetings and an hour-long practice. All players are off today and will resume preparations Thursday for the Colts.After playing sparingly during the Vikings' past two games, Moss seems likely to miss his first game since joining the team in 1998. The Vikings probably won't announce Moss' status prior to the game, but Tice acknowledged, "I know which way I'm leaning."