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with Sean Jensen and Don Seeholzer

Stop back often because Sean and Don regularly posts updates to your comments. Leave your comments and questions by clicking on the comments link below each post.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Fason cut

RB Ciatrick Fason has been released, according to a person close to the situation.

The four remaining running backs are Adrian Peterson, Chester Taylor, Artose Pinner and Mewelde Moore.

Owens informed he's among the cuts

The Vikings have informed tight end Richard Owens he will not make the 53-man roster.

"It was a surprise to us," agent Jeff Chilcoat said. "But hopefully, he’ll find a new team soon."

With Owens cut, the Vikings are expected to keep only Visanthe Shiancoe, Jim Kleinsasser and Jeff Dugan, who also will line up as a fullback.

Although the cut deadline isn't until tomorrow afternoon, the Vikings apparently are starting the process early.

Don't be surprised if veteran WR Billy McMullen and RB Ciatrick Fason are among the notable cuts.

The other positions of interest are:

* Defensive line. What are they going to do with the glut of players? Erasmus James still doesn't look right. Meanwhile, Brian Robison, Ray Edwards and Kenechi Udeze look like locks. Then you've got versatile veteran Darrion Scott and promising players such as Khreem Smith and Jayme Mitchell. A trade is possible, given the importance of this position.

Inside, Howard Green, Spencer Johnson and Fred Evans are the primary competitors to back up Kevin Williams and Pat Williams. I would be shocked if they keep Green, Johnson and Evans.

* Safety. I would imagine the Vikings are trying to trade a safety. Unfortunately, teams usually aren't willing to give up draft picks for this position.
Tank Williams would appear the odd man out.

* Receiver. Sidney Rice, Troy Williamson and Bobby Wade are locks. Robert Ferguson's experience and athleticism are needed. That leaves players such as Aundrae Allison, Billy McMullen, Chandler Williams, Cortez Hankton, Martin Nance and Jason Carter competing for the other couple of spots.

But Williams has had a problem with ball security the entire preseason.

If there is one position the Vikings may try to trade for, I would say it's offensive line. Since no one has asserted himself at right guard or right tackle, the Vikings may need to bring in another veteran.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tonight's inactives and update on players who are watching

Bobby Wade, Mike Doss, Tank Williams, Vinny Ciurciu and Darrion Scott are the inactives for the Vikings. Filling in for Wade at receiver will be rookie Sidney Rice.

Meanwhile, Pat Williams, Kevin Williams, Antoine Winfield, E.J. Henderson are among the defenders who are not out there.

For the Cowboys, Martin Gramatica, Terence Newman, Greg Ellis and Terry Glenn are among the notable inactives.

Starters are only expected to play a series. But several may not take the field at all.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Vikings to be introduced at Mall of America

The entire Vikings team and coaching staff will be introduced to the public in the Rotunda at the Mall of America on Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 6:00 p.m.

KFAN's Paul Allen and Vikings coach Brad Childress will address the fans following the team introduction, and a few players will sign autographs in various locations throughout Mall of America. The autograph session will last one hour and will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sports Illustrated on the Vikings

The esteemed magazine projects the Vikings to finish third in the NFC North.

Meanwhile, senior writer Peter King ranks three Vikings in the NFL's top 50.

He rates DT Kevin Williams 14th, G Steve Hutchinson 23rd and CB Antoine Winfield 31st.


The starters aren't going to play very long Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys. But this will be the last chance for a few "on the fence" players to make the team. And they'll do so on special teams.

Make a few plays, and they could swing momentum in their favor. Aundrae Allison, who is expected to get some punt returns, could seal his spot as a returner. Safety Greg Blue needs to assert himself as a special teams ace like linebackers Vinny Ciurciu and Heath Farwell.

Other players to watch:

* DT Fred Evans -- He had a forced fumble in Seattle, but he needs another strong performance to secure a spot.

* WR Martin Nance -- He had a strong training camp, but he has just one catch for eight yards in the previous three preseason games.

* RB Mewelde Moore -- He had a strong training camp. But he also has been quiet in the preseason games.

* QB Brooks Bollinger -- He needs to rebound after a miserable performance in Seattle.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Braden Jones mystery solved

TE Braden Jones was waived/ injured.

Not much more to say about this one, folks.

Tuesday head count

Among those not out there at the start of practice today:

* WR Bobby Wade (ankle)

* S Mike Doss (calf)

* S Tank Williams (unknown)

* DE Darrion Scott (unknown)

Meanwhile, something is happening with TE Braden Jones, who had two catches for 29 yards this preseason. Jones was not at practice, and he was not on the Vikings' roster Tuesday afternoon. Without him, the Vikings are at their limit of 76 players (they get an exemption for international practice squad player Seppo Evwaraye).

I'm sure we'll get to the bottom of this soon.

Tailgating is back

The Vikings are bringing back stadium tailgating for the 2007 season.

The team recently sent out a letter to season-ticket holders, giving them first crack at 1,100-some spots in four lots between 3rd and 5th streets on land that has been purchased by the Vikings.

Cost of a season pass is $280.

"Through fan feedback and surveys, one of the things we've heard loud and clear from our fans is we need a place to tailgate," team vice president of public affairs/stadium development Lester Bagley said. "So that's what we're addressing with this program."

Bagley added that the tailgating program is for this season only at this point but could be extended to include future seasons.

Simon off the market

DT Corey Simon has signed with the Tennessee Titans, the Tennessean reported this morning.

Simon didn't play at all last year, sitting out with a knee injury and an undisclosed illness, and the Indianapolis Colts terminated his contract earlier this month.

Vikings coach Brad Childress said the club discussed Simon but opted against bringing him in for a visit.

Vikings cut down to 75 players

The Vikings released WR Justin Surrency and waived/ injured CB Mike Hawkins and LB Cameron Siskowic to get to the NFL-required maximum of 75 players. The Vikings have an exemption for international practice squad player Seppo Evwaraye.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Birk shows patience

Matt Birk is a five-time Pro Bowl center for the Vikings. He is a St. Paul native, and he owns two restaurants in town.

But there he was tonight waiting in line outside the practice facility at Winter Park with his wife and three daughters.

Although the Vikings were hosting a cheerleading event, Birk and his family waited outside -- just like everyone else.

Holcomb thrilled to be a Viking

More than anything, veteran Kelly Holcomb said Monday afternoon that he is thankful that he is joining a "good football team."

"You knew the situation here," Holcomb said of Philadelphia, where he was the fourth quarterback. "There was nothing I could do about it. When they drafted Kevin Kolb, you feel helpless.

"But I'm coming to a good football team," Holcomb said. "I watched them on TV. You got a salty defense, and you got some good players on the team.
"I’m excited to do whatever they need me to do."

Given his frustrations in Philadelphia, Holcomb said he isn't as concerned whether he is the backup or even third string.

"I’m anxious to get up there and see what I can do to help you guys win some ball games," he said.

Still, his time in Philadelphia wasn't wasted. He said he got to learn the West Coast offense under Eagles head coach Andy Reid.

"I think it was a good situation for me to come up here and learn from coach Reid. I’d never been in the West Coast system," Holcomb said. "Things happen for a reason."

As Childress mentioned, the Seattle Seahawks were also interested. But Holcomb is thankful that he didn't end up there.

"I wasn’t sure if I could get my wife to Seattle," Holcomb said of his wife, Lorie, who lives in Tennessee. "Man, that’s a long flight."

Traded to the Eagles by the Buffalo Bills, Holcomb said he and his family never purchased a home in Philadelphia because of his uncertain status.

"We bought houses everywhere we've been," Holcomb said. "But this wasn’t the time or place to buy a house."

His wife and three children will be at the Metrodome on Tursday, when Holcomb will play for the first time since the preseason opener for the Eagles. He hasn't taken the field in the last two games.

Holcomb said he also has no problems mentoring second-year quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who was named the starter Monday by Childress.

"I have no issues with that," Holcomb said. "I’m not an egotistical guy. I want to play. But it is what it is. Heck, I just want to be a part of something. If that means mentoring young guys, then that’s what I’m prepared to do."

Traded to the Eagles by the Buffalo Bills, Holcomb said he and his family never purchased a home in Philadelphia because of his uncertain status.

"We bought houses everywhere we've been," Holcomb said. "But this wasn’t the time or place to buy a house."

Holcomb, who is signed through 2008, said he planned to be at practice Tuesday.

Childress and Bollinger comments on quarterback situation

Vikings coach Brad Childress on Monday named second-year quarterback Tarvaris Jackson the starter, then he confirmed the acquisition of veteran Kelly Holcomb from the Philadelphia Eagles.

The move would bump Tyler Thigpen, a seventh-round pick out of Coastal Carolina, to the practice squad, Childress said.

Childress wouldn't say whether Holcomb had the edge over incumbent Brooks Bollinger for the No. 2 spot. But clearly Bollinger hasn't endeared himself with a poor preseason, including his two-pick performance Saturday in Seattle.

"I think it’s important that you have the right mix of people in the room, in the quarterback room, and that everybody understands what their role is," Childress said.

Childress pointed out that he had a conversation on Saturday with Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren, who also knows Eagles head coach Andy Reid well.

"Mike was good enough to say, ‘So are you interested in this guy too?’ " Childress said of Holcomb. " 'Let’s not let the big guy work us. Let’s get our egos out the way.’ So we had a pretty good conversation about that."

Childress said Bollinger, though, is assured of a roster spot.

"I’m not just going to say it’s an open competition for the second and third (quarterback spots)," Childress said. "I just want to make sure we got insurance -- and who's up and who's down, we’ll make those determinations as we go.

"Just adding another good football player," Childress later said. "Like I told Tarvaris, ‘You know how fast you get to No. 3.’ And if you get to No. 3, everybody expects that guy to win too. I think that’s probably it more than anything."

Jackson will likely play one series Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys at the Metrodome, then he will be replaced by Bollinger. Childress said Holcomb likely will play as well.

Holcomb is expected to be at practice Tuesday.

Here is what Bollinger had to say after practice:

On what this trade means for him: "I don't know. It means I'm going to show up tomorrow and do exactly what I've been doing since I got here. Like I've told you guys, there's a lot when you're in this league that you can't control."

On if he is disappointed: "I'm just trying to continue to compete and do everything I can to help this team get better. You've just got to look at it as competition and continue to move forward."

On if he wants to be somewhere else: "I'm always glad to have the opportunity to be a part of this football team. Like I said, I'm just going to fight to do everything I can to help this team and organization be better."

Vikings and Eagles confirm Holcomb trade

Vikings head coach Brad Childress and the Philadelphia Eagles separately confirmed the trade of veteran quarterback Kelly Holcomb.

After announcing to the team that Tarvaris Jackson would be the starting quarterback, Childress also said the team had traded for Holcomb, who was buried on the depth chart in Philadelphia.

Later, Childress indicated that Bollinger would remain on the team and that he wanted three experienced quarterbacks, citing last year when Jackson, then the third quarterback, was pressed into action in Chicago.

The Eagles announced that they acquired an "undisclosed draft choice in 2009." But there are indications that the Eagles got a sixth-round pick.

Vikings trade for Holcomb

The Vikings have traded for veteran Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Kelly Holcomb.

Compensation is an undisclosed 2009 draft pick. The Eagles were originally seeking a fifth- or sixth-round pick.

The move comes two days after veteran backup Brooks Bollinger struggled in Seattle, throwing two interceptions, including one that was returned 39 yards for a touchdown.

Head count

Players who were either missing or not participating at the start of today's afternoon practice:

Wide receiver Bobby Wade (ankle)

Safety Mike Doss (calf)

Safety Tank Williams (unknown)

Cornerback Mike Hawkins (ribs)

Linebacker Vinny Ciurciu (finger)

Tight end Braden Jones (thigh)

Defensive end Darrion Scott (unknown)

QB talk

Brooks Bollinger knows he had a bad game Saturday night. He just hopes it doesn't cost him his job as the Vikings' No. 2 quarterback.

"Obviously, I would have liked to play better and would have liked to help our team win the football game," Bollinger said of his two-interception performance at Seattle. "Like I said, I'm not doing anything other than learning from the tape and moving forward."

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Bollinger made an uncharacteristic mistake by taking a five-step drop instead of three on the first interception, which Seahawks cornerback Kevin Hobbs returned 39 yards for a touchdown, but that he still has confidence in the fifth-year pro.

The Vikings reportedly are one of four teams that have contacted the Philadelphia Eagles regarding veteran backup Kelly Holcomb, but Bevell said he's focused on coaching the three quarterbacks on the roster, including starter Tarvaris Jackson and rookie Tyler Thigpen.

"Now if personnel ends up doing something else, then that's up to them and the choices that they make," Bevell said, "and then we'll coach the guys that get here."

Bollinger said he's aware of the Holcomb rumors but not concerned.

"It's out of my control and I don't worry about it," he said. "All I can do today is show up and get myself better and do what I can do to help this offense do better on Thursday night (against Dallas)."

In other news, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said he expects Kenechi Udeze to start at left end in the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against Atlanta and that rookie linebacker Cameron Siskowic returned to Minnesota on Sunday night after spending Saturday night in a Seattle hospital.

Siskowic had to be taken off the field by ambulance after suffering a possible neck or back injury, but tests so far have indicated nothing serious, although Frazier said he continues to undergo evaluations.

Henson, Lowber cut

The Vikings just announced the release of eight players, including quarterback Drew Henson and wide receiver Todd Lowber.

Henson spent the final four weeks of last season on the Vikings' practice squad and played in seven games with the Dallas Cowboys in 2004.

Lowber, a former college basketball player and track star, signed a three-year contract with the Vikings in April.

Also released were defensive tackle Joe Bradley, guard Josh Day, defensive tackle Alex Guerrero, linebacker John Kerr, punter Alex Reyes and cornerback Jerron Wishom.

The moves leave the Vikings with 79 players on the roster. All NFL teams must be at 75 by Tuesday.

Wiggins cut by Jags

Former Vikings tight end Jermaine Wiggins has been cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars, the website Pro Football Talk reported this morning.

Wiggins, who led the Vikings in receptions in two of the last three seasons, reunited with Jaguars assistant head coach Mike Tice. But Wiggins apparently didn't make a huge impression after signing a one-year, $1 million contract.

Holcomb watch

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported today that the Eagles are looking for a sixth-round draft choice for backup quarterback Kelly Holcomb but might have to settle for a seventh.

According to the Inquirer, the Vikings and Atlanta Falcons are two of four teams to have inquired about Holcomb, who did not play in the Eagles' Monday night exhibition game against Pittsburgh.

The Vikings could be in the market for a No. 2 quarterback, with Brooks Bollinger coming off a shaky, two-interception performance at Seattle on Saturday night.

The Eagles are expected to move Holcomb some time this week.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Peace at last

Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who had taken some verbal shots at Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson for the sprained knee that cost Hasselbeck four games last season, officially ended the war of words Saturday night.

"I just basically said there were no hard feelings from last year," Hasselbeck said after the Seahawks' 30-13 exhibition win of their on-field conversation.

Henderson, whom Hasselbeck had accused of "ruining my season," said he also was ready to move on.

"Matt just said to me that it was all blown out of proportion and that things were all good," he said. "I caught a couple of the articles and the things that Matt said to the media, but I am taking it all in stride. I'm not sweating it."

One more thing

Coach Brad Childress got into a verbal confrontation with Visanthe Shiancoe early in the third quarter after the tight end committed a false start penalty that wiped out a potentially big run by Adrian Peterson.

"Heat of the game and I wasn't very happy with him," Childress said of the incident. " ... You know, you've got to be able to hold your water."

When it was mentioned that Shiancoe appeared upset, Childress said: "He didn't like the things I had to say to him. But if I had to say them again, I'd say them again. He's a professional football player."

Siskowic OK

Good news on linebacker Cameron Siskowic, who had to be taken off the field on a stretcher with two minutes to play with a possible neck or back injury.

According to a Vikings spokesman, Siskowic is OK but will remain in a Seattle hospital overnight for observation.

The Vikings reported minor injuries to wide receivers Bobby Wade (sprained ankle) and Aundrae Allison (back spasms).

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Herrera to start

Anthony Herrera, who has been competing with returner starter Artis Hicks for the right guard job, will start tonight's game at Seattle.

Hicks also will play.

Inactive for the Vikings are safety Mike Doss (calf strain), cornerback Mike Hawkins (bruised ribs), tight end Richard Owens (ankle, knee) and linebacker Vinny Ciurciu (fractured finger).

The Seahawks' inactives are quarterback Erik Meyer, offensive tackle Walter Jones, linebacker Julian Peterson, safety Jordan Babineaux, wide receiver Courtney Taylor and tight end Leonard Stephens.

Mr. Popularity

Vikings guard Steve Hutchinson got booed by Seahawks fans last season on his first return visit to Seattle, but he obviously still has a lot of friends on the team.

Hutchinson has spent practically the entire pregame warm-up period so far shaking hands and schmoozing with Seahawks players, coaches and members of the organization in the end zone.

Hutchinson signed with the Vikings as a restricted free agent before last season after five years with the Seahawks.

Motivated Seahawks

Exhibition or not, the Vikings figure to get the Seattle Seahawks' best shot tonight, and not just because of what happened the last time they met.

Fuming over his team's performance in last week's 48-13 loss to Green Bay, Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren put his players through a physical, full-pads practice Wednesday and let everyone know that he expects a much better effort this time out.

Like the Vikings, the Seahawks are expected to play their starters through the first half and that includes quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who is still working his way back from offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder and didn't play against the Packers.

Hasselbeck suffered a strained knee ligament that cost him four games in last season's 31-13 loss to the Vikings and took another shot this week at linebacker E.J. Henderson for what Hasselbeck said was an avoidable and unnecessary hit.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Childress is back

Coach Brad Childress returned to Winter Park this afternoon after missing the midday practice because of an undisclosed family matter.

"I don't comment much on my family," Childress said, adding that everything was OK.

It was the second missed practice this summer for Childress, who skipped one during training camp to attend a wake for security guard Frank Foster.

"They're rare," Childress said, "but that's why you have videotape."

In other news, Childress said it is his understanding that defensive tackle Fred Evans has resolved all his legal issues in Florida and Texas and that the Vikings have no interest at this time in bringing in former Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Corey Simon for a visit.

Childress said safety Mike Doss (calf) , cornerback Mike Hawkins (rib) and linebacker Vinny Ciurciu (finger) won't play in Saturday night's exhibition game at Seattle.

Childress update

Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said coach Brad Childress missed today's practice because of a family matter but that it won't affect his availability for Saturday night's exhibition game at Seattle.

"He had a family situation he had to deal with and he's on his way back, actually," Frazier said. "He'll be here pretty soon."

Frazier didn't elaborate, but asked if Childress definitely would coach the team in Seattle, he said, "No question."

In Childress' absence, Frazier ran the practice and said it was a good one.

"He asked me just to kind of oversee things, make sure things were going fine," Frazier said. "The players responded well. As I mentioned, they were enthusiastic in practice. They were really focused and concentrated and we reminded them of exactly what coach's expectations are. ... We've got enough leadership on this football team where guys stood up and just made sure there was no drop-off."

Where's Brad?

Coach Brad Childress was the most notable absentee today as the Vikings went through their final practice before Saturday night's exhibition game at Seattle.

A Vikings spokesman said defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier would explain when he addresses the media after practice.

Defensive tackle Fred Evans was back on the field, as promised, after spending the last week in Florida resolving his legal issues.

Linebacker Chad Greenway also returned after missing Wednesday's practice to be with his wife, Jenni, who gave birth to the couple's first child, a girl.

Players who were either not present or participating were: safety Mike Doss, safety Patrick Body, tight end Richard Owens and linebacker Vinny Ciurciu.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Corey Simon on the radar?

Heard an interesting rumor that the Vikings may be considering former Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Corey Simon as a possible backup to Pat Williams.

The Vikings clearly are concerned about the depth behind Williams, who is entering the final year of his contract. Earlier this month, the club signed defensive tackle Fred Evans, despite some serious baggage that has already been a headache.

The interest in Simon could make some sense because the Vikings have been unable to reach a long-term extension with Williams.

Simon was the sixth overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He spent five seasons there, compiling 32 sacks, but he was released before the 2005 season because he refused to sign his one-year franchise tender.

The Colts signed Simon to a five-year, $30 million contract, but he had only 35 tackles and didn't tally even a single sack in 13 games.

Simon had arthroscopic knee surgery and missed the entire 2006 season.

On Monday, Simon visited the Tennessee Titans and underwent a physical.

"We had him in for a physical, and we worked Corey out and he seemed to be in good shape," Titans coach Jeff Fisher told The Tennessean.

The Vikings are leery of giving Williams a monstrous contract, especially with him turning 35 during the season. But they are in a precarious position because defensive tackles have been rewarded with premium contracts (Darwin Walker got a five-year, $25 million contract from the Chicago Bears with two years left on his previous deal), and they don't necessarily want to be pigeonholed into spending one of their top picks in next year's NFL draft on a defensive tackle.

Bud Grant to be honored

The Vikings announced they will honor Hall of Fame coach Bud Grant on Sept. 18, at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota campus.

It will be the 40th anniversary of Grant being named the Vikings head coach, and he will be joined by former Vikings DE Jim Marshall, longtime Vikings trainer Fred Zamberletti, former Philadelphia Eagles teammate and Hall of Fame linebacker/center Chuck Bednarik, Texas Tech basketball head coach Bob Knight, and his son, Eden Prairie head football coach Mike Grant.

Post-practice update

Coach Brad Childress said safety Mike Doss missed today's practice because of a calf strain and linebacker Chad Greenway was given the day off to be with his wife, who is expecting the couple's first child.

Childress also said defensive tackle Fred Evans is expected to return to the team Thursday.

Evans has been in Florida on administrative probation since pleading no contest last Thursday to felony charges of battery on a police officer and resisting arrest and faces a Sept. 5 court date in Texas on a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession.

Mark Parrish of the Wild watched practice and even caught a few kickoffs from the JUGS gun afterward.

Practice update

Well, great practice updates are a thing of the past.

We basically have enough time to watch the guys stretch.

Here is who was missing or watching from the sideline:

* WR Cortez Hankton

* CB Mike Hawkins

* TE Richard Owens

* LB Vinny Ciurciu

* LB Chad Greenway

* DT Fred Evans

* TE Braden Jones

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ferguson speaks

Wide receiver Robert Ferguson went through his first practice with the Vikings and said afterward that he thought the team was a perfect fit for him.

The fact that he will get to play two games a year against his former Green Bay club is an added bonus.

"That's definitely the icing on the cake," Ferguson said. "The cake was just coming here and being around the guys, communicating well with the coaches and being on the same page with them. The icing was definitely getting to play (the Packers) twice a year. I look forward to that."

Released last week by the Packers, Ferguson signed a one-year contract with the Vikings after visiting Winter Park on Sunday and could have an immediate impact as the third receiver behind starters Bobby Wade and Troy Williamson.

Ferguson, who visited his hometown Houston Texans on Monday, said he doesn't know what his role is and hasn't been promised anything but definitely will play in Saturday night's exhibition game at Seattle.

The former second-round draft choice has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year NFL career, including a sprained foot that cost him 12 games last season, and was asked if the foot is 100 percent.

"No, it's not 100 percent," he said. "It's actually 110 percent. It's not an issue at all and I'm looking forward to testing it Saturday."

Roster note: The Vikings released former Gophers wide receiver Paris Hamilton.

Ferguson gets one year deal

WR Robert Ferguson signed a one-year deal worth up to $1.5 million, including incentives.

Vikings sign Ferguson

The Vikings have signed WR Robert Ferguson, coach Brad Childress announced.

Ferguson jogged onto the practice field early in practice, and he was led through some running and stretching drills by a strength and conditioning coach.

To make room for him, the Vikings injured/ waived offensive lineman Adam O'Connor.

Ferguson signing close?

The Vikings' young wide receiver corps could be about to get a large shot of experience.

Agent Brian Overstreet said early this morning that he would be in town today for contract talks on wide receiver Robert Ferguson, who visited Winter Park on Sunday after being released by the Green Bay Packers last week.

Ferguson spent Monday in Houston meeting with the Texans, but Overstreet indicated that the Vikings are his first choice.

Ferguson, 27, caught 116 passes for 1,577 yards and 12 touchdowns in six seasons with the Packers after joining the team as a second-round draft choice.

The former Texas A&M star has been dogged by injuries throughout his NFL career, including a foot sprain that cost him 12 games last season, but the Vikings put Ferguson through a physical examination Sunday in addition to working him out and obviously were satisfied with the results.

He could have an immediate impact as the third wide receiver for the Vikings, who have little experience behind starters Bobby Wade and Troy Williamson.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Childress on Vick, Ferguson

Today's announcement that Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick will plead guilty to federal dogfighting charges ends any chance that he will face the Vikings in the Sept. 9 regular-season opener, but Vikings coach Brad Childress had little reaction to the news.

"He's a good player," Childress said, "but they're going to do what they're going to do in terms of Joey (Harrington) throwing the ball and handing off. You don't all of a sudden abandon everything. Your scheme is your scheme. It's just a matter of executing it, I think."

Coincidentally, the New York Jets, the Vikings' opponent last week, played Atlanta in the exhibition opener and Childress was able to look at some tape of the Falcons' offense.

"So just by a quirk of fate, you kind of see what they're trying to do and how they're trying to do it," he said.

On another subject, Childress said the Vikings remain interested in signing former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Robert Ferguson, who was in Houston to meet with the Texans after visiting Winter Park on Sunday.

Childress said Ferguson was late leaving the Vikings' facility and missed his Sunday night flight to Houston but denied any responsibility.

"I don't run Northwest Airlines or whoever the carrier was to Houston," Childress said with a smile. "I can't vouch for that. ... He was out of my office in plenty of time."

One more note: Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said the Vikings' plan is to get defensive end Erasmus James some playing time in Saturday's game at Seattle, but they will continue to monitor his progress in practice. James hasn't played in a game since tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament last September.

Evans still missing

Vikings defensive tackle Fred Evans missed another practice today and it's uncertain when he will return.

Evans' attorney, Adam Swickle, said the second-year player is still in Florida on administrative probation after pleading no contest Thursday to felony charges of battery on a police officer and resisting arrest stemming from a June 23 arrest in Miami Beach.

Evans, who received two years' probation on each of those charges, still faces a Sept. 5 court date in Texas on a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana and must remain in Florida because of that case, Swickle said, until Minnesota authorities accept his application to live here.

Asked how long that might take, Swickle said: "Really, it depends on the people in Minnesota. I've got to be honest, the process has taken months before, but I don't expect that. It could take weeks, however."

Swickle said his office sent all the paperwork from Evans' cases to Minnesota on Thursday and has done everything possible to expedite matters.

Evans' Florida probation supervisor and Minnesota officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said he hopes Evans doesn't miss too much more time.

"No doubt, you'd like to be able to get him in here as soon as possible and get some reps under his belt," Frazier said. "It's been a while since he's played in some competitive situations. Hopefully, some of those issues will get resolved here real soon and we can get him on board and get him on the football field."

Swickle said Evans, who still faces a possible NFL fine or suspension under the league's personal conduct policy, is not required to report to a probation officer while on administrative probation and simply must stay out of trouble for the next 12 months.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ferguson visiting

Wide receiver Robert Ferguson, who was released Friday by the Green Bay Packers, is visiting the Vikings and was a spectator on the sideline at the afternoon practice.

Agent Brian Overstreet said Ferguson has tentative plans to visit Houston this evening and that the Texans and Vikings are the receiver's top two choices.

Overstreet said he has had "very preliminary" contract talks with the Vikings and that Ferguson hopes to make a quick decision.

"What he's looking to do is get back on the football field," Overstreet said. "This is not going to be a long, drawn-out process."

In other news, tight end Richard Owens (sprained ankle/knee) and rookie cornerback Mike Hawkins (bruised ribs) weren't on the field for the start of practice.

Neither was defensive tackle Fred Evans, who missed Friday night's 37-20 exhibition win at the New York Jets after appearing in Miami-Dade County Court the day before.

Offensive lineman Adam O'Connor (knee) was the only other player not practicing.

Rookie linebacker John Kerr (back) returned to practice.

Friday, August 17, 2007

D-line light

Erasmus James, Khreem Smith and defensive tackle Fred Evans all will not play tonight against the New York Jets.

Otherwise, after some torrential rain and lightning, we look like we'll be all set for the game.

It did look bad for a while, though.

Vikings on Ferguson's "short list"

After failing to trade him, receiver Robert Ferguson has been released by the Green Bay Packers.

The team just announced the move in a news release.

Apparently, though, the Vikings were not interested in trading for Ferguson, a former second round pick whose best season was in 2003, when he caught 38 balls for 520 yards and four touchdowns.

But Ferguson's agent said the Vikings are one of the teams he's interested in talking to.

"They're on our short list," said agent Brian Overstreet, who also represents Vikings starting cornerback Cedric Griffin. "We like the situation there."

Specifically, Overstreet said he liked the fact that the Vikings run a similar offense to the Packers. Overstreet, though, has yet to speak to anyone on the Vikings about Ferguson.

And although Ferguson missed most of last season with a foot injury, Overstreet said he is healthy now.

"He's ready to go," Overstreet said.

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Packers had trade discussions with the Houston Texans, Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills. Nothing materialized, with the teams balking at paying his $1.8 million base salary.

The Journal-Sentinel indicated that Ferguson may end up in his hometown of Houston, where
former Packers head coach Mike Sherman is the assistant head coach.

But Overstreet said Ferguson wants to find the right situation.

"He's only 27 years old," Overstreet said. "He wants to come in and contribute."

Farwell fined for hit on Fitzpatrick

Vikings linebacker Heath Farwell was fined $7,500 for roughing the passer, according to a league spokesman.

Specifically, Farwell was fined for striking the quarterback in the chest area with his helmet. In the third quarter, on a second and 13, Farwell struck Ryan Fitzpatrick in the chest and was penalized 15 yards.

Farwell led the team with 10 tackles and had one sack.

Farwell was unaware of the fine but said he planned to appeal it.

But, on paper, the fine is a hefty one.

During the preseason, all veterans, regardless of salaries and guaranteed bonuses, are paid $1,100 each week and $1,300 on weeks when they play a game. All told, regardless of how you slice it, Farwell will make less than $7,500.

The good news is, the league is respectable enough to wait until the regular season before deducting the fine from his paycheck.

Farwell, who is in a very strong position to make the final roster, is slated to make $435,000 this season.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Evans gets probation

Vikings defensive tackle Fred Evans won't have to serve any jail time for his June 23 arrest in Miami Beach.

As part of a plea-bargain agreement, Evans pleaded no contest this morning in Miami-Dade County Court to felony charges of battery on a police officer and resisting arrest and received two years' probation on each count.

According to a court clerk, a misdemeanor trespassing charge was dropped and Evans agreed to pay court costs of $1,310.

Evans, who signed a two-year contract with the Vikings on Sunday, was released by the Miami Dolphins following his arrest, during which he was subdued with a Taser gun after passing out in the back of a taxi.

He already was on probation for a Texas arrest for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and still faces a Sept. 5 court hearing on that charge in addition to a possible NFL fine or suspension.

Evans, 23, is expected to rejoin the Vikings in time for Friday night’s exhibition game at the New York Jets and could play, coach Brad Childress said Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Goodbye, Mankato

The Vikings just wrapped up their final practice of this training camp, a 45-minute session in shorts.

Brooks Bollinger, who is scheduled to play the second quarter of Friday night's exhibition game at the New York Jets, hit a long pass to wide receiver Bobby Wade and a short TD toss to rookie wide receiver Chandler Williams, who made a juggling catch in the end zone.

The play of the day, though, was a long bomb from rookie quarterback Tyler Thigpen to wide receiver Cortez Hankton.

The Vikings have a team bowling outing scheduled for later this afternoon and evening and will break camp Thursday morning.

Final practice in Mankato

They're in shorts, and the pace doesn't look too taxing, so I will spare you the "highlights."

Those not here: DE Jayme Mitchell, DT Fred Evans, CB Chad Johnson and LB John Kerr.

Evans has an appearance at Miami-Dade County court Thursday morning. He is expected to play Friday against the New York Jets, coach Brad Childress said earlier in the week.

Jets game plan

Vikings coach Brad Childress said DE Erasmus James will not play Friday against the New York Jets. But it does appear that DE Khreem Smith will play.

As for the quarterback rotation, Childress said each quarterback will play one quarter. Tarvaris Jackson the first, Brooks Bollinger the second, Drew Henson the third and Tyler Thigpen the fourth. He said the starting offense and defense would play the entire first half.

During his press conference, Childress also thanked Mankato, Minnesota State University and his Vikings training camp staff. According to Childress, 50,000 fans attended training camp this year and that the team signed 15,000 autographs at the official signing area.

Childress said he's pleased with where the team is so far this preseason. But he added, "People are starting to get a little bit feisty."

Nothing to see here

Rough day for Fan Appreciation Day.

With the practice fields soggy after hours of rain last night, the Vikings are conducting their morning practice in the fieldhouse at Minnesota State University.

The players aren't in pads, and they're not really running.

This is what coaches call a "mental" practice.

But fans will get autographs and little purple footballs.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Glenn retires

LB Jason Glenn has retired, Vikings coach Brad Childress said.

Glenn said the Vikings did a "great job" of getting him back on the field.

"But the two-a-days took a pounding on me," Glenn told the Pioneer Press. "That was all me. I wanted to get out there and fight for a job."

Glenn aggravated the left knee he had surgically repaired last year.

Glenn will return to Houston, to rehab and spend time with his newborn son.

There are no current plans for another surgery, and his only focus now is getting his knee right.

"He’s the epitome of being a professional," Childress said of Glenn. "He was a great guy to have in our locker room, and I’m sorry to lose him."

The Vikings also injured/waived RB Wendell Mathis.

They filled those two spots with linebackers George Hall and Cameron Siskowic.

At practice, LB John Kerr and CB Chad Johnson are the only ones absent. Johnson was excused to attend to a personal matter.

Other updates:

* DT Fred Evans will likely play Friday against the New York Jets. But defensive ends Erasmus James and Khreem Smith are not as certain.

"I'm more inclined to say let's wait another week," Childress said of James.

* G Adam O’Connor will get a second opinion on his injured left knee. But he appears to be out for several weeks.

* QB Tarvaris Jackson made a poor decision when he was flushed out of the pocket. He tried to force a pass down the field, over a defensive back. But the ball was flat, and Tank Williams easily picked the pass off.

* The best defensive play belonged to Marcus McCauley and Patrick Body. McCauley was closing, defending rookie WR Sidney Rice. In the end zone, Rice bobbled the ball, with McCauley all over him, and Body slid over and intercepted the ball.

* Starting right tackle Ryan Cook got some snaps at center, while right guard Artis Hicks got more work at left tackle.

* Brooks Bollinger spent some time handling snaps for kicker Ryan Longwell. Bollinger is the backup holder to Chris Kluwe.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Another o-lineman goes down

The Vikings lost another young offensive lineman to what appears to be a serious knee injury.

Offensive tackle Adam O'Connor, a first-year player out of William & Mary, suffered a left leg injury during a running offense drill.

O'Connor was evaulated by a team doctor and carted to the locker room.

Rookie guard Dan Mozes was placed on the injured reserve. Mozes will have surgery this week.

The players not at practice: LB Jason Glenn, RB Wendell Mathis, LB John Kerr and CB Chad Johnson.

Meanwhile, the d-line got an infusion of players off the sideline. Erasmus James, Jayme Mitchell and Khreem Smith all practiced this morning.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Evans signing, etc.

Coach Brad Childress said character still counts with the Vikings, but that didn't stop the team from taking a chance on a troubled-but-talented player.

Defensive tackle Fred Evans, who was released by the Miami Dolphins in June after being arrested twice during the offseason, will practice with the Vikings this afternoon after signing a free-agent contract.

Evans, the Dolphins' seventh-round draft choice last season, was released after being arrested by Miami police, who had to use a Taser to subdue him, and already was on probation for a marijuana possession charge in Texas.

He is still awaiting resolution of his legal situation on his pending charges in Florida and also faces a possible NFL suspension, but Childress said the Vikings checked Evans out thoroughly before signing him.

"He's a guy that made a mistake and is paying for it," Childress said. "But somewhere you make a decision based on what you see and what you know and people you talk to in this business. ... I think I've talked to as many people about this guy as anybody."

Childress said that the Vikings spent all day Thursday with Evans after bringing him in for a workout and will try him at the three-technique defensive tackle spot behind Kevin Williams.

"I think it's going to have a positive impact on our team," Childress said. "I and we thoroughly researched this kid. I look at each situation individually. It doesn't mean character's not important. It's very important to me and to this football team. I think we've got a good group in the locker room and I think he’ll benefit from being in this situation.”

In other news, Childress said the Vikings activated defensive end Erasmus James, who has spent training camp on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from two knee surgeries and will be brought along slowly.

As suspected, rookie linebacker Rufus Alexander suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Friday's exhibition opener against St. Louis and will undergo season-ending surgery after a rehabilitation period.

Childress will miss today's practice to attend a wake for security guard Frank Foster, who died Wednesday.

Report: Vikings to sign DT Evans

In need of depth at defensive tackle, the Vikings apparently are willing to take a chance on a player with some off-the-field baggage. reported that defensive tackle Fred Evans, who was released by the Miami Dolphins in June following two offseason arrests, will sign a free-agent contract with the Vikings.

Evans, the Dolphins' seventh-round draft choice last season, was released in June after being arrested by Miami police, who had to use a Taser to subdue him, and already was on probation for a marijuana possession charge in Texas.

Evans told that he expects a favorable legal outcome on his pending charges in Florida but that an NFL suspension is likely.

Saturday was a day off for the Vikings, who return to practice this afternoon.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hutchinson out

Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson will miss tonight's preseason opener against the St. Louis Rams because of what a Vikings official said was a family issue.

With Hutchinson out, Anthony Herrera will start at left guard.

The Vikings' other inactives are running back Wendell Mathis, linebacker John Kerr, linebacker Jason Glenn and defensive end Erasmus James.

DE Jayme Mitchell also is not in uniform. He has been healthy, and it's unclear why he's not playing.

Oh, and Tony Richardson apparently also didn't suit up. He just did a sideline interview.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

McKinnie responds to Chiefs rookie

Bryant McKinnie dismissed a disparaging remark made by a Kansas City Chiefs rookie defensive end about the Vikings offensive tackles.

During a broadcast of the HBO Series "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Kansas City Chiefs," rookie defensive end Turk McBride said to a veteran teammate, "Their tackles are terrible. Everyone is soft."

Told of the comment, McKinnie said, "Oh please.

"That’s surprising," McKinnie said. "But we get to play them again this year. So we’ll see. I’m going to remember that, though."

The Vikings and Chiefs play on Sept. 23, in Kansas City.

Asked if that comment will motivate his unit, McKinnie said, "I don’t know what they’re going to do. But I know what I’m going to do."

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Chiefs rookie talks smack

The Vikings' offensive line has some bulletin board material for the Sept. 23 game in Kansas City.

During a broadcast of the HBO Series Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Kansas City Chiefs, rookie defensive end Turk McBride said to a veteran teammate, "Their tackles are terrible."

McBride, who played at Tennessee, is a second-round pick who clearly has some talent. So the Vikings' tackles will have a chance to prove him wrong early in the season.

Traffic info for Friday's game

Those attending Friday's game against the St. Louis Rams are encouraged to use public transportation and to carpool, the Vikings said in a press release.

Fans traveling from the north are especially advised, due to the I-35W bridge collapse. All drivers should expect delays for the game, scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Starters to play a quarter

Coach Brad Childress said he plans to play quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and his starters for most or all of the first quarter in Friday's preseason opener against the St. Louis Rams.

Childress also said he has yet to make a final decision on running back Adrian Peterson, even though the team's No. 1 draft choice returned to practice and said a hip pointer definitely won't keep him from playing.

"I just want to make sure that when he opens up, he can open up," Childress said. "Part of protecting yourself is being able to open up and run away."

McCauley sidelined with fever

Vikings coach Brad Childress said CB Marcus McCauley has a fever and required IV fluids. McCauley missed his first two practices of training camp Wednesday.

Childress also said LB Jason Glenn had an MRI that showed discomfort in his left knee, which was operated on last year. His status is uncertain.

Vikings security official dies at training camp

Vikings security official Frank Foster, 66, died early Wednesday morning in his RV outside a Minnesota State University dormitory.

The cause of death is not clear, but no autopsy is scheduled, and there is no suspicion of foul play, said Kim Klawiter, the Vikings' director of security.

Foster, a 30-year veteran of the St. Paul Police Department, had worked for the Vikings' security staff for 14 years, mostly with the head coaches. Quiet and professional, Foster was popular and well-liked.

"He had a great personality," said Klawiter, who knew Foster for 30 years and was mentored by him. "He set the example for the rest of us. If I could be half the guy he was, I'd be happy."

Klawiter had spent time with Foster around midnight when they retired for the evening. Foster preferred to stay in his RV, which was parked in a secure area, instead of in the dormitory. His colleagues were concerned when no one had seem him by 8 a.m. today. When they went to his RV, they found him in a chair, already dead.

"He looked peaceful," Klawiter said.

Foster is survived by his wife, Kathy, and two children.

Peterson playing; Glenn injured

Running back Adrian Peterson returned to practice this morning and said he definitely will play in Friday night's preseason opener against the St. Louis Rams.

"I don't know (how much)," said Peterson, who missed Tuesday's practice after aggravating a hip-pointer injury. "Whenever they call my number, I'll be ready to go out there."

Peterson said he is anxious and excited to play in his first NFL game, even if it is just preseason.

"It's the real thing to me," he said. "It's definitely not a spring game."

In other news, linebacker Jason Glenn left the locker room on crutches and in a cart after suffering what appeared to be a serious left knee injury.

Peterson practicing, McCauley not

Adrian Peterson is among the players participating this morning, an indication he might be able to play in the preseason opener.

Also, Aundrae Allison and Cortez Hankton have rejoined the receivers.

Absent at roll call on the field: Mewelde Moore, Darrion Scott, Marcus McCauley and Ronyell Whitaker.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

You asked for it...

Geez, people. I was being polite. Kind of like walking by a stranger and asking, "How are you?" You don't really expect an honest answer.

But since I dug the hole...

David, Chad Greenway has looked awesome. It's hard to believe he missed the entire 2006 season with a major knee injury. His recovery is one of the best I've ever seen.

Rick, Brian Robison started fast, but he hasn't been as eye-catching over the last week or so. He still chases the ball way down the field. He just doesn't seem to be getting to the QBs like he did early on. Right now, Ray Edwards is the clear No. 1 at right end. Khreem Smith was in the mix. But he's out with an injury.

Jimmy, the bigger question is who is going to step up on the right side of the offensive line. If T-Jack is going to be successful, he needs time to make decisions, and the running backs need blocks to run behind. The left side can't be as effective if the right side is the pits.

The receivers are showing signs of progress. But there isn't anyone who scares an opposing defense, someone defensive coordinators have nightmares about.

Rick Peterson: Yes, I've got serious concerns about the right side. Ryan Cook has been having a problem with false starts, and I haven't been overwhelmed by his performance in the one-on-one drills against defensive ends. As for Artis Hicks, he's still trying to get comfortable after his stint at left tackle. Even then, he would have to play markedly better than he did in 2006.

Given his need for experience, I would think it wouldn't be a bad idea. But Childress had this to say today at his press conference: "You can make an argument that way -- let him play -- but the point is you don’t want any bad habit from him playing behind a third offensive line and getting happy feet.
"We’ll pick that up as we go through these preseason games. They’ll play a little bit more, a little bit more, a little bit more, but I would rather see him establish a rhythm with the guys that probably he is going to play with on the football field."

Childress pushes players

Who said Brad Childress is softening up?

The Vikings afternoon practice, scheduled to last 45 minutes, went 35 minutes long. Thirty-five minutes.

That's almost twice as long as it was originally scheduled.

Nothing to see here...

Don't be jealous that you're not at this practice. The players are in shorts and wearing hats. Seriously.

I'm baffled that there are 200 plus people here in attendance. But at least it's not raining.

So, if you were waiting for an update on this, don't hold your breath.

Feel free to shoot me some questions, if you feel so compelled.

Peterson rests, other practice highlights

Rookie Adrian Peterson was on the field, wearing his jersey. But he didn't participate in the morning practice. Vikings coach Brad Childress said the team wants to be careful with Peterson, who suffered a hip pointer last week.

He is day-to-day, and his status for Friday's preseason opener is unclear.

Here are some other notes from an eventful practice:

* The Vikings focused on third and long situations. The first defense didn't allow a first down on three of the four attempts, Childress said.

* TE Visanthe Shiancoe made one of his best catches of camp. He ran through a seam and Tarvaris Jackson led him with a nice pass. Shiancoe plucked the ball for what would have been at least 15 yards.

* Rookie WR Chandler Williams had a rough practice. He had a talk with coach Brad Childress, and he was targeted by receivers coach George Stewart. I wasn't privy to the discussions. But, it didn't sound like Stewart and Childress were congratulating him.

* RB Chester Taylor seems to be getting in a groove. He had a real nice catch and run from Jackson, and he seems to have his legs under him.

Speaking of bombs...

Tarvaris Jackson just connected on a 50-yarder down the left sideline to Troy Williamson. The pass was well thrown and well defended by Cedric Griffin. But Williamson hauled in the ball and held onto the ball after hitting the ground.

Dropping the bomb

You can count Tarvaris Jackson's completed bombs on one hand. But since I've been to every practice, I can say with confidence that his lack of long ball completions isn't entirely his fault. He throws a beautiful deep ball, but his receivers have dropped some on-target passes. Just now, he had a nice one to Todd Lowber. But Lowber, who had a full step on his defender, flat dropped the ball.

While he's had his issues, Jackson has shown that he does have the touch and arm strength to throw the deep ones.

Rice back in lineup

WR Sidney Rice has returned to practice. So has veteran WR Billy McMullen, who is making his training camp debut.

RB Mewelde Moore is still dealing with his newborn baby.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Vikings sign WR Paris Hamilton

The Vikings have signed WR Paris Hamilton and waived backup offensive lineman Dan Mozes, who suffered a torn ACL.

March of the line

The offensive line is a tight-knit group. But the players went a little too far Monday morning. One after another, they made the Jog of Shame.

First, Ryan Cook. Then Anthony Herrera. Then Artis Hicks, who was accompanied by RB Chester Taylor. Each had to immediately get off the line of scrimmage after a false start and run to and around the far goal post, a long, embarrassing jog.

Meanwhile, TE Visanthe Shiancoe made a nice catch on the right sideline for about 20 yards. RB Ciatrick Fason also had a solid catch and run.

But the star of practice may have been Martin Nance, who made several catches. His best was on a post pattern near the goal line from Brooks Bollinger. Nance had to fully stretch, but made the catch.

Another interesting play: Tarvaris Jackson just knocked down Kevin Williams. Maybe Williams was just going to run by, because he's not supposed to hit the quarterbacks, or maybe he slipped. But Jackson lowered the shoulder and put Williams down.

Long list of players missing

You could almost field a team with the players not practicing this morning.

* Aundrae Allison

* Sidney Rice

* Ronyell Whitaker

* Mewelde Moore

* Wendell Mathis

* Ben Leber

* Jason Glenn

* Dan Mozes

* Khreem Smith

But, Chester Taylor and Troy Williamson are practicing. So is rookie WR Chandler Williams.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Peterson practices, Troy watches, Ray skirmishes

Adrian Peterson got some contact work against the Kansas City Chiefs in River Falls, WI. But WR Troy Williamson was again on the sideline. DE Ray Edwards was in the mix a few times, including on the final play of the practice, which was cut about 45 minutes short. Edwards had issues with two offensive tackles from the Chiefs, including Kyle Turley.

Notables who did not participate:

* WR Sidney Rice (hamstring)

* DTs Pat Williams and Kevin Williams

* Ben Leber (calf)

* WR Chandler Williams (concussion)

* DE Khreem Smith (ankle)

* C Dan Mozes (knee)

* RB Chester Taylor (arm)

* CB Ronyell Whitaker (ankle)

* WR Aundrae Allison (hamstring)

* RB Wendell Mathis (leg)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Peterson time?

As expected, rookie running back Adrian Peterson did not participate in tonight's joint practice with the Kansas City Chiefs, but coach Brad Childress said there's a chance he could return for Saturday's rematch in River Falls, Wis.

"I'd like to see him go," Childress said. "He ran out here without much trouble. We'll see how he wakes up in the morning."

Childress said wide receiver Troy Williamson was held out of the Chiefs practice because of an infection in his left arm and that he also is a possibility for Saturday.

Except for a concussion to rookie wide receiver Chandler Williams, the Vikings apparently suffered no serious injuries.

Vikings pledge support to bridge relief

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said his club would donate the proceeds of tonight's practice at Blakeslee Stadium in Mankato to the 35W bridge relief efforts.

"We feel the Vikings family should be committed to helping the families who were affected," Wilf said.

Added owner Mark Wilf, "You see the tragedy, and you feel for the families and want to help."

The Wilfs said they would explore other possibilities to help.

There was also a moment of silence, to honor the families affected around 7:40 p.m., when the entire teams were on the stadium field.

Williamson watching from sideline

Not sure why, but WR Troy Williamson is not participating in the practice tonight against the Kansas City Chiefs.

He has a sleeve on his left arm, though. But he could just be a healthy scratch since he hasn't missed any practices.

Others not participating: RBs Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor, WR Aundrae Allison,
LB Ben Leber, CB Ronyell Whitaker, RB Wendell Mathis, and guard Seppo Evwaraye.

On defense, Pat Williams and Kevin Williams, and CB Antoine Winfield did not practice against the Chiefs. Injury doesn't appear to be an issue for any of those veterans.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Afternoon update

No. 1 draft choice Adrian Peterson sat out today's afternoon practice because of the hip pointer he suffered this morning, while fellow running back Chester Taylor participated in the non-contact session for the first time since bruising his right forearm Tuesday.

Coach Brad Childress didn't rule either player out of Friday night's joint practice with the Kansas City Chiefs, but neither is expected to play.

"I won't play anyone who isn't 100 percent," Childress said.

That also should eliminate cornerback Ronyell Whitaker, who was carted off the field during the morning practice with a sprained left ankle, and linebacker Ben Leber (calf) and wide receiver Aundrae Allison (hamstring), who missed both workouts.

Feel the noise

Referee Bill Carollo and a crew of NFL officials were in camp to brief the players, coaches and media on rules changes and points of emphasis for this season.

Note to Vikings fans: The league has eliminated its longstanding (but almost never called) penalty for excessive crowd noise, so Metrodome fans will no longer have to worry about possibly costing their team a five-yard penalty or timeout.

In an effort to cut down on celebration delays, the NFL has added a five-yard penalty for spiking or throwing the ball at the end of a play and there will increased emphasis on in-your-face taunting, which remains subject to a 15-yard penalty and possible league discipline.

Peterson injury 'no big deal'

Running back Adrian Peterson said the hip pointer he suffered in today's morning practice "is not a big deal at all," but it could keep him out of Friday and Saturday's joint practices with the Kansas City Chiefs.

"I don't know," Peterson said. "I'm obviously going to take the advice of the medical crew. They've got a good crew so I'm going to let them make the decisions on that."

Peterson, the Vikings' No. 1 draft choice, said he suffered the injury on a screen pass when he took an elbow to his hip.

"It's really not as serious as I thought it was," he said. "It was painful at first, but I kind of shook it off. It's not too bad."

Peterson, who signed a five-year, $40.5 million contract with the Vikings on Sunday, said he would work with the training staff to get back as soon as possible.

With running back Chester Taylor nursing a bruised right forearm, Mewelde Moore and Artose Pinner could be the Vikings' top two backs against the Chiefs.

One more injury note: Cornerback Ronyell Whitaker was carted off the field with what defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said was a sprained left ankle.

Peterson update

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Adrian Peterson tweaked his hip pointer. He didn't seem overly concerned, and Peterson walked into the locker room without any assistance.

Peterson scare

Take a deep breath, Viking fans. Adrian Peterson left the field at 10 a.m. and entered a trailer with head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman. But at 10:06, he rejoined his teammates on the sideline, although he looks to have some sort of leg injury. ... Oh, he just went back into the trailer. But I still don't think it's serious.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Another early day

Running back Chester Taylor, linebacker Ben Leber (calf), wide receiver Aundrae Allison (hamstring) and running back Wendell Mathis (leg) all sat out the afternoon practice, which coach Brad Childress cut short by 25 minutes.

Rookie linebacker David Herron had the defensive play of the day, punching the ball out of fullback Naufahu Tahi's hands and intercepting a Tarvaris Jackson pass.

Wide receiver Troy Williamson got the biggest ovation, however, when he went to the ground to pull in a Jackson rocket.

Williamson dropped an earlier pass and rookie running back Adrian Peterson heard it from the coaches after an unsuccessful attempt at a one-handed catch.

Taylor injury, etc.

Running back Chester Taylor's bruised right forearm isn't serious, but it could keep him out of Friday and Saturday's home-and-home combined practices with the Kansas City Chiefs.

"I'm not really concerned about whether he's back for Friday or not," coach Brad Childress said, jokingly adding, "He did want me to tell you guys that we're not thinking about amputating it."

Taylor, who missed today's morning practice, said he was afraid he was seriously hurt initially and was relieved that it turned out to be just a bruise.

"When I first did it, I thought it was pretty bad," Taylor said. "But right now, I feel a lot better."

Linebacker Ben Leber also missed practice after aggravating a strained leg muscle and rookie wide receiver Aundrae Allison left early after feeling a tug in his hamstring.

Offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie practiced for the first time after spending the first five days on the non-football injury list, with fill-in starter Artis Hicks returning to right guard.

Hicks said he gave McKinnie a welcome-back hug.

Childress said quarterbacks Tarvaris Jackson and Brooks Bollinger both rebounded well from Tuesday's practice and did a nice job during a red-zone passing drill.

Childress added that the Vikings might not show as much of their offense and defense as usual in the Chiefs practices since the teams have a Week 3 regular-season date in Kansas City.

"It'll be fairly generic," Childress said.

Jackson sharp during drill

After being criticized on the QB Watch by an unnamed colleague, Tarvaris Jackson sizzled in a six-on-seven drill inside the 15-yard line. I did not keep track of how many passes he threw with the second-string receivers, but Jackson was flawless and had at least four touchdowns, two of them to Martin Nance.

That is tempered by the fact that he didn't do that against the starters, who picked off Brooks Bollinger (Chad Greenway hauled in a tipped ball).

In other developments, rookie Aundrae Allison left the field, walking gingerly. Also, Chester Taylor and Ben Leber are among the players not at practice.

Bryant McKinnie, though, did take part in his first 2007 training camp practice.