August 16th, 2008 – 11:57 PM by Judd Zulgad
BALTIMORE — Just got done writing for the Sunday paper. Nobody in the Vikings locker room seemed all that concerned that quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has anything more than a bruised knee.
However, a major message to Jackson will be coming from all directions. That is: If you’re going to run the football, slide when defenders get near you. Jackson suffered a concussion against San Diego last season because he slid too late and he got hurt again Saturday night because he took on two defenders. He said it was the second and final hit that did the damage.
For Jackson to be of any use to this football team he needs to stay healthy and quarterbacks stay healthy by not taking chances. If Jackson does simply have a bruised knee, he will undergo more tests Sunday, he might have learned an extremely valuable lesson at a small price.
Receiver Bobby Wade said he’s been trying to tell Jackson to slide for quite some time. “That’s what I’ve been telling him since last year, when he got knocked out that one time,” Wade said. “But he’s making plays. You can’t ask him to do too much more. But I think [sliding] is going to be a major focus now for him. It takes a while to realize how important it is versus maybe that 1 yard you might get out of making that guy miss or something.”
A few other observations from tonight:
- The learning continues for John David Booty. He finished 1-for-3 for 9 yards with an interception that was returned for a touchdown and had a 2.8 quarterback rating. Nothing pretty about that. He also was sacked twice. Meanwhile, Brooks Bollinger was seven of 15 for 63 yards with a 58.5 rating.
- Defensive end Jared Allen had two sacks in the second quarter and should have gotten the hat trick. Ravens quarterback Troy Smith somehow got out of Allen’s grasp and ran for 18 yards.
- Receiver Bernard Berrian said he sat out because of a sore toe he injured against Seattle. We all thought that Berrian was limited last week because he still had a sore groin but it turns out the toe was bothering him.
- As is always the case in the preseason, Brad Childress plans to play his starters significant minutes next Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The starters will barely get any time in the preseason finale at Dallas in the final exhibition.
- Steven Hauschka continued to handle the kicking duties as veteran Ryan Longwell was able to rest on his birthday. Hauschka hit field goals of 21, 34 and 48 yards. Another attempt was aborted when Chris Kluwe failed to handle the snap.
- The Vikings’ run defense was the best in the NFL last season but that unit struggled tonight. Even with nose tackle Pat Williams returning after not playing against Seattle, the first-team defense gave up 110 yards on the ground in the opening 30 minutes. Williams suffered a bruised knee but was able to continue. Childress isn’t happy the defense has given up touchdowns on the opening drives against it the past two weeks. “Maybe the defense can start a little bit faster,” he said. “We’ll adjust that.”
- The Vikings finished with five sacks, including two by Allen and Otis Grigsby and one big-time hit from rookie Letroy Guion. Grigsby is a guy the Vikings plucked off the Carolina practice squad last season when the line was hit by injuries. He’s had an excellent camp and figures to contribute to the wave system of linemen the Vikings utilize.
- Rookie offensive lineman Tim Mattran suffered a sprained ankle. Childress said he would be fine and is a tough kid but Mattran was on crutches with the ankle wrapped after the game.