Berrian hobbled, Rosenfels sharp

August 14th, 2009 – 11:43 PM by Judd Zulgad

INDIANAPOLIS — Vikings coach Brad Childress said following his team’s 13-3 victory over the Colts tonight that to his knowledge wide receiver Bernard Berrian was fine. It sure didn’t appear that way, however, to those of us who saw Berrian gingerly walk as he left the locker room and made his way to the team bus.

Berrian, who appeared to injure his hamstring in the first quarter while blocking on a run play, declined to speak to reporters but he did post on his Twitter page that, “I’ll be OK in due time. Appreciate the concern.” What that means is anybody’s guess but I think Berrian and the Vikings are going to be very careful with this injury. Berrian is known for his speed and hamstring injuries can linger if not treated properly.

There is no reason for Berrian to rush this thing. Tight end Garrett Mills (shoulder) was the only Vikings player who did not dress tonight but Childess elected to play it safe with first-round wide receiver Percy Harvin (shoulder) and defensive end Brian Robison (hamstring). Veteran nose tackle Pat Williams also was rested. The only troubling thing with Harvin missing the game is he also had injury issues in college that scared off some NFL teams. Harvin was hurt in Wednesday’s practice when he landed on his shoulder after making a catch.

Childress made it clear he expects Harvin and Robison to play next Friday against Kansas City.

As for the quarterback play tonight, there is no question that Sage Rosenfels has taken the early lead in the derby to win the starting job. Rosenfels was very impressive in his two series — keep in mind the Colts did not have one member of their starting defensive backfield playing — completing 10 of 13 passes for 91 yards with a 95.4 passer rating.

“I thought he had a decent rhythm, I thought he knew where he was looking, got the football up the field, checked it down a little bit,” Childress said. “He had a good command. So he started off this week and Tarvaris will kick it off next week against Kansas City.”

Jackson is going to need to do better than he did tonight playing with reserves. Jackson completed 7 of 15 passes for 39 yards with a 53.5 passer rating. Jackson did not try to blame his performance — he entered in the second quarter and left in the fourth — on his sprained left knee.

Asked where he thinks the quarterback competition stands, Jackson said: “I’ll let coach judge that but honestly, me personally, I feel I have a lot better to get. I have a lot more work to do. But I’ll let coach pretty much judge the competition, let him evaluate that. I feel I have a lot more work to do.”

As for Rosenfels, he said he isn’t keeping any type of mental score on where things stand. “I only control my own actions and I try to go out there and execute with the guys that I’m in there with and try to run Coach Childress’ offense the way he wants it run and that’s all I really think about,” he said.

Childress did not say if he has any type of timetable to decide this race and offered up the fact this competition is good for the writers who cover his team. “You guys need something to write about for two or three weeks,” Childress said. “If I can stretch it for four I’ll do it for you. … I’m not sure how long it will go. I’ll know when it’s set though.”

Other odds and ends from tonight:

  • Running back Adrian Peterson might have wanted to play more but the Vikings weren’t going to listen to his request. Peterson carried four times on the opening series and that was it. Chester Taylor even got to score on a 5-yard run to end the drive. Albert Young was the running back who saw lots of time. Young, who spent last year on the practice squad, carried 14 times for 58 yards and caught three passes.
  • John David Booty entered in the fourth quarter and completed four of seven passes for 23 yards.
  • Jaymar Johnson is going to get every chance to win the punt return job. The Vikings had six punt returns and Johnson got six of them and averaged 8.3 yards.
  • Harvin’s absence gave Darius Reynaud an opportunity to return the opening kick. Johnson also returned a kick. Make no mistake, the job is going to be Harvin’s when he’s healthy.
  • The Vikings were flying around on special teams in their first game under new coordinator Brian Murphy. There is no question the return of linebacker Heath Farwell on that unit is key.

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