August 13th, 2008 – 11:41 AM by Chip Scoggins
Center Matt Birk missed practice Wednesday morning because of the stomach flu, according to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Rookie John Sullivan took Birk’s place with the first team.
Veteran safety Darren Sharper was at practice but did not do any team drills. Sharper told Judd afterward that he is fine.
Here are other news and notes:
- Rookie safety Tyrell Johnson returned to practice after missing two days because of sore abdominal muscles. Michael Boulware and Eric Frampton got most of the reps with the first team.
- With injuries to Marcus Johnson and Drew Radovich, Tim Mattran was working with the second team at left tackle. Artis Hicks was the second-team left guard. Mattran has played center, guard and tackle throughout camp.
- Defensive end Ray Edwards had a really good practice. He caused Chester Taylor to fumble on a hit and he sacked Tarvaris Jackson in team drills.
- Jackson did a nice job throwing on the run today. Several times he got flushed from the pocket and looked like he might run, only to find an open receiver down field.
- The offense had a two-minute drill period in the middle of practice. The first-team offense didn’t score. Jackson’s pass to Sidney Rice in the end zone with four seconds left got knocked down by Cedric Griffin. The second-team offense scored on a difficult catch by rookie Jaymar Johnson. Marcus Walker had good position as the two ran down the right sideline but Gus Frerotte made a perfect throw and Johnson made the catch in the end zone while falling down.
- Bevell said he will continue to call plays from the sideline rather than upstairs in the box Saturday at Baltimore. Quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers moved upstairs for the preseason opener against Seattle.
- Adrian Peterson had several explosive runs, including one around the left end that would have gone for a big gain.
- Cedric Griffin picked off a poor Jackson pass while lying on the ground. On the very next play, Jackson fooled Antoine Winfield with a pump fake. Winfield peeled back and Jackson hit Rice wide open along the sideline.
- Kicker Ryan Longwell made 6 of 7 field goals during team session.
The Vikings have a one-hour special teams practice at 2:15 p.m. We’ll check back later.