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Those kids include second-year man Courtney Taylor, who is taking Engram's spot, plus third-year veteran Ben Obomanu, undrafted free agent Michael Bumpus from Washington State and former practice squad player Logan Payne.
Center Chris Spencer, who had shoulder surgery in the offseason, did not return as expected Monday from a back injury that has kept him out of training camp. Guard Steve Vallos, a seventh-round draft choice last year, is the first-team center trying to learn on the fly the line's pre-snap calls on blocking assignments.
"No way did he think he was going to be in this position six months ago -- and now here you are," Holmgren said of Vallos. "Who knows? He might be the starting center on opening day."
The early injuries to Engram and Branch may have a trickle-down effect on players who are trying to make the team elsewhere -- such as seventh-round pick Justin Forsett, a running back from California, or undrafted rookie safety Jamar Adams from Michigan.
Holmgren likes to keep a total of 11 wide receivers and running backs on his 53-man roster for the regular season. He may have to keep more receivers this season, if he holds to his plan of keeping Engram and Branch on the roster for the start of the season.
"Yeah, absolutely, we've talked about that very thing," Holmgren said. "Now even if I wanted to go a different way, you can't mess around because we will have two receivers who are going to be on the roster who will not be playing."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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