August 7th, 2009 – 9:49 PM by Judd Zulgad
MANKATO — Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson gave the Vikings a scare near the end of tonight’s practice at Blakeslee Stadium on the Minnesota State, Mankato campus when he limped away after throwing a pass that was nearly intercepted by cornerback Benny Sapp.
Jackson suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee last Saturday and returned to practice on Wednesday wearing a knee brace. He said after tonight’s session that he heard a pop in the knee and thought it was a simply scar tissue breaking. Jackson returned after missing one play and proceeded to throw a ball over the head of wide receiver Darius Reynaud and into the hands of safety Eric Frampton.
“It’s fine,” Jackson said of his knee.
Neither Jackson or Sage Rosenfels dazzled with their performance in tonight’s practice — in their defense the Vikings worked on third-and-11 and the 4-minute offense starting at their own 1-yard line — and a week into the competition for the starting job neither one has really pulled ahead. The fact Jackson missed three days of practice doesn’t help matters.
“I’m not slapping a grade on it,” coach Brad Childress said when asked where he felt the quarterback competition stood. “Obviously, [Jackson] missed time so it wouldn’t be fair to sit there and say, ‘This guy is ahead by virtue of the fact he had five more practices.’ It’s a good competition and it’s all headed toward a cumulative work here during practice and then I want watch them compete with the lights on.”
Childress will get that chance next Friday when the Vikings open the preseason against the Colts in Indianapolis.
- After being forced to practice indoors in the morning because of rain, the Vikings were able to get outside tonight for the two-plus hour session despite the threat that it might storm. Childress said he was pleased with what his team accomplished during the walk-through this morning. “That was a good session for us inside,” Childress said. “It’s easy to slop around but I didn’t see any of that. … We ran our whole script. We didn’t pull back on anything.”
- The night practice was conducted in pads, the second time this camp the Vikings have had players practice in full gear.
- Among the situations the Vikings practiced tonight were third-and-long and also a 4-minute drill in which the offense starts deep in its own territory. “You’ve got to practice those situations,” Childress said.
- With contact allowed, the one-on-one drills between running backs and linebackers proved interesting. At one point it appeared to get heated between Adrian Peterson and Ben Leber but the two were seen talking shortly thereafter. Rookie linebacker Jasper Brinkley is going to make this team based on his love of hitting. He and running back Chester Taylor, an excellent pass blocker, proved to be a good matchup.
- Wide receiver Percy Harvin just keeps making highlight plays. The latest came in a one-on-one with cornerback Marcus McCauley. Harvin put a move on McCauley and caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Sage Rosenfels. Later, in 7-on-7, Harvin got behind rookie cornerback Asher Allen and hauled in a 30-yard pass from Rosenfels.
- You can see more of the highlights of the practice by going to www.twitter.com/juddzulgad.