Rookies Ready for Action

While the quarterback rotation and timing was laid out for Monday night's preseason opener, the Vikings' rookies say they are ready for their first professional game action.

Brad Johnson and the rest of the Minnesota Vikings starters should expect to play the first quarter of Monday's preseason opener, but the quarterback who'll likely get the most playing time will be rookie Tarvaris Jackson.

Mike McMahon will be the quarterback to start the second quarter, and
Jackson, the Vikings' second-round pick, will likely finish the first half and play through the third quarter. J.T. O'Sullivan will finish the game.

Jackson was not available for comment following Sunday's 20-minute mock game, which focused on situational substituting to prepare for Monday.
The players were able to leave training camp following the practice and report to a Twin Cities hotel later at night.

The only player who is not available to play Monday is rookie cornerback Charles Gordon, who is expected to miss at least one more week following arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage damage to his knee.

GREENWAY EXCITED

Rookie linebacker Chad Greenway said he's more excited than nervous to make his professional debut. The No. 1 pick from Iowa said he'll work with the second unit at weakside linebacker, though he'll get thrown in with the starters on some of the defensive packages.

"They want to keep it simple and let us get out there and fly around," Greenway said.

Greenway said his parents and wife Jennifer will attend the game.

ROOKIE JITTERS

Greg Blue is among the rookies who'll make their professional debut
Monday, and the hard-hitting backup safety is expecting to continue his strong training camp.

"The first game is an opportunity to make my mark," he said. "I just have to play hard and make no mistakes."

Offensive lineman Ryan Cook said this is a day he's waited a long time for.

"It's bigger than college," Cook said. "College was fun, but this is a chance to compete at the highest level."

NOTES

Childress said the game plan is simple for Monday, and he's interested to see which players can react appropriately in game conditions against another opponent. "Some guys do funny things in competition," he said.

  • Tight end Richard Angulo and safety Dwight Smith celebrated birthdays Sunday. Angulo is 26 and Smith 28.

  • Childress said a decision on how to protect tackle Bryant McKinnie's injured left hand hasn't been reached. On Saturday, McKinnie tried two different casts, each more than twice the size of his hand. Childress said he doesn't know of any size regulations on the cast, "just as long as he doesn't have a horseshoe in there."



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