StarTribune.com

November 2006


Pat Williams “doubtful” for Sunday’s game

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Vikings nose tackle Pat Williams was downgraded from questionable to doubtful Thursday because of a knee problem that has plagued him for several weeks. The move came as a surprise and means there is only a 25 percent chance that Williams will play.

Obviously if Pat Williams can’t go, it will make it much easier for the Bears to run the ball against the No. 1 rushing defense in the NFL. The Vikings made one other change from Wednesday, moving cornerback Cedric Griffin (neck) from the questionable to probable category.

The Bears, meanwhile, removed running back Thomas Jones from the injury report and added defensive tackle Tommie Harris (knee) as probable.

Wiggins on the field

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Tight end Jermaine Wiggins, who has a slight sprain of the MCL in his knee, came on the field today as the players arrived to stretch for practice. It’s unclear how much work Wiggins will do but his presence in uniform is a good sign.

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said the coaches would have to see how practice goes today before making any determination on Wiggins’ status. “You never know with injuries like that,” Bevell said. “Every guy is different. They can all have the same injury but how the individual reacts to it is different so we’ll have to see how he reacts to it.”

While the forecast for Chicago on Sunday is for a high of 17 degrees, the Vikings practiced indoors for a second consecutive day on Thursday.

Sharper’s scouting report

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Vikings safety Darren Sharper expressed his displeasure yesterday with the trash-talking that Bears quarterback Rex Grossman did when the teams last met in September. Lost in that was the fact Sharper also discussed Grossman’s on-the-field abilities as a quarterback and the fact Grossman is willing to take risks when throwing the ball.

“I think that’s just the confidence that he has in his ability,” Sharper said. “Everyone wants to compare when you have a quarterback that’s a gunslinger to Brett Favre. But Brett is a guy that has confidence to make those throws and he feels as though you might get him once, but he’ll get you two or three times. Rex might have that same mentality but it’s just that he’s not Brett Favre. That’s what it comes down to. You can try to have that mentality but if you don’t have the tools to do that a lot of times you’re going to get bitten more than you’re going to bite somebody else.”

Injury report

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Tight end Jermaine Wiggins is questionable on the Vikings’ injury report because of a MCL sprain in his knee and it’s uncertain how much he will practice this week in preparation for Sunday’s game at Chicago.

Joining Wiggins as questionable are cornerback Cedric Griffin (neck); right guard Artis Hicks (ankle); right tackle Marcus Johnson (foot); running back Chester Taylor (wrist); nose tackle Pat Williams (knee); and left guard Steve Hutchinson (knee).

Receiver Marcus Robinson (ankle); linebacker Napoleon Harris (wrist); and safety Dwight Smith (shoulder) are all probable.

The Bears only have three players on their injury report, including linebacker Leon Joe (hamstring, doubtful); safety Todd Johnson (ankle, questionable); and running back Thomas Jones (groin, probable).

Grossman responds

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

This is turning into a busy one folks. The latest update comes from Chicago, where Rex Grossman was asked about his trash-talking ways in the Bears’ victory over the Vikings on Sept. 24. Grossman admits he ran his mouth but puts an interesting twist on things. (See the below post for Darren Sharper’s comments on the situation.)

“I probably said some things that I regret, but the whole game their [defensive backs] were talking to me,” Grossman said. “Just really getting under my skin a little bit and probably more than I should have allowed it to. But they were just yapping the whole game.

“I threw the interception for a touchdown [by Antoine Winfield in the fourth quarter] and Dwight Smith came up and smacked me on my helmet and was in my face. It was just kind of one those deals facing all that adversity, that whole crowd and just so emotional when we finally got the touchdown pass that I probably went overboard a little bit with some of my emotions, some of the things I said. … I regret it, but I had all that pent up inside that I had to let it go.”

Grossman said Smith, not Darren Sharper, did the majority of the talking.

Williamson update

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Vikings receiver Troy Williamson, who took a punch in the face during a charity event Sunday at the Myth nightclub, did not come into the locker room during the first media access period Wednesday. He was on the field, however, during the special teams portion of practice. That is the only part of practice the media is allowed to watch.

Darren Sharper, who hosted the charity event to benefit the United Way and Minnesota AIDS Project, said he did not see Williamson get punched but has talked to the receiver. Sharper said Williamson told him, “I just wish it didn’t happen.”

Vikings coach Brad Childress indicated Williamson will face no discipline for the incident. Williamson was checked by the Vikings’ medical staff. Childress said, “we’ve kind of allied those fears by making sure there is no physical problem there,” when asked if Williamson might be injured.

Darren DeWalt, Sharper’s marketing agent and one of the concert’s planners, had said Williamson was hit without provocation by a Myth security guard. Mark Naylon, head of security at the club, said Tuesday he had no knowledge that one of his staff members hit Williamson.

Sharper said the party, dubbed “Sharperpalooza,” was a “good event,” overall. “You get a lot of people together, even if for a good cause, some people don’t know how to act,” Sharper said.

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