No word on who starts at QB on Friday

August 10th, 2009 – 12:27 PM by Judd Zulgad

UPDATE: Chip and I will be hosting a 1:30 p.m. (central) chat so please do join. 

MANKATO — Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said today that no decision has been made on who will start at quarterback for the Vikings in their preseason opener on Friday night in Indianapolis. Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels have been splitting reps with the first-team offense as they compete for the starting position.

“We haven’t decided,” Bevell said following a physical full-pads practice at Minnesota State, Mankato. “That’s not my job to come in here and tell you who the starting quarterback is. Coach [Brad Childress] will tell you. We are in the process. We’re talking about it. Getting the exact reps with each and every guy, exactly how we want it to play out. I’m sure coach will tell you here pretty soon.”

The reality is that it might not be that big of deal who starts Friday because the other quarterback very well could get the start on Aug. 21 when the Vikings play host to the Kansas City Chiefs. The one thing that might be interesting to see is if Childress tries to get Jackson and Rosenfels both snaps with the first team, instead of having one work exclusively with the second team.

“I think it has been said by coach that it’s important to get both those guys behind the best offensive line that you can put out there,” Bevell said. “That’s going to be a key and that’s some of the things that we’re talking about with the reps. Do we have to let other guys go a little bit further to make sure that we’re protecting the quarterbacks well? That kind of thing and that’s what we’re under advisement with right now.”

Jackson, who suffered a minor sprain of the MCL in his left knee on the second day of training camp and missed three days, continues to practice with a protective sleeve and brace on the knee. Asked about wearing the brace, Jackson said: “It’s stiff a little bit. The brace is not letting me get my full range of motion but right now it’s really pretty much just trying to protect me from any hits and stuff like that.” Jackson does not know how long he will have to wear the brace.

Bevell, meanwhile, has been pleased with what he has seen from Jackson since his return. ”You don’t like to miss any time but I think he’s done a nice job with his rehab, a nice job coming back from it,” he said. “He came back from it pretty fast. I haven’t seen that much of a residual effect from the injury. You don’t like to miss any reps and he’s fighting hard to compete and make the plays when he needs to make them.”

As far as what he hopes to see on Friday from the offense, Jackson said: “Just want to see our offense pretty much execute our plays. Whatever we call, it’s not going to be a whole lot, it’s going to be basic offense. We’re just going to get out there and let guys play and just get out there and show what they can do.”

Other notes from today’s first practice:

  • This marked the Vikings’ third time in pads during camp and the second time they went to a live scrimmage situation. Things got physical as the Vikings worked on the bliltz, the inside run, goal-line, short-yardage situations. The practice ended with a full 11-on-11 live scrimmage. Although it began to get hot toward the end of practice, it was actually very pleasant for most of the morning. Players had been off on Monday and today marked the last day things will be really physical. Camp will break on Wednesday and the team will travel to Indianapolis on Thursday.
  • Sidney Rice made one of the best catches in camp so far during a drill from near the goal line. Sage Rosenfels threw a pass high into the back of the end zone and at the last second Rice extended his 6-foot-4 frame to make an oustanding one-handed catch.
  • Rice, by the way, continues to get work behind Percy Harvin on kickoff returns.
  • Left guard Steve Hutchinson gave the Vikings a bit of a scare when he stayed on the ground after blocking on a play during 11-on-11 work but the veteran only missed a few plays before returning.
  • Fullback Naufahu Tahi rolled his ankle but returned to the field after getting it taped.
  • Defensive end Brian Robison (hamstring) did some additional work today. He was injured last Monday and returned in a very limited role Saturday.
  • Rookie cornerback Asher Allen left practice Saturday when he jammed a finger on his left hand but he was back on the field this morning.
  • Several members of the Vikings ownership group are in Mankato for a few days of meetings and to watch practice. 
  • To see more practice highlights, check out our Twitter pages. Judd is here and Chip is here.

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