Plenty of T-Jack Saturday?

This preseason was supposed to include Tarvaris Jackson seeing plenty of time under center during games. But, thanks to a swarming Vikings defense that scored two early touchdowns, Jackson threw just four passes and played two series last week. As a result, the Vikings may play him a little longer than usual Saturday when the team travels to Seattle.

One of the main questions fans had coming into the preseason was exactly how far along in his professional maturation Tarvaris Jackson would be this season? He looked solid in a short outing in the opening game – completing 8 of 11 passes. But, thanks to a pair of defensive touchdowns in the first quarter of the Jets game, Jackson was only on the field long enough in the second game to throw four passes.

While many teams have eschewed using some of their top stars in the preseason, the Vikings don't have that luxury. Jackson has to be on the field more than most because he needs to build his timing with his receivers and see and feel a pass rush at full speed that he simply hasn't had in practice. It's a dicey situation for coach Brad Childress, who wants to protect Jackson from taking too many hits in meaningless games, but at the same he has to balance that out with getting his young quarterback some legitimate playing time.

How will that play out Saturday when the Vikings play the Seahawks? Jackson will play the first half and start out the second half, with Brooks Bollinger getting the rest of the action in the second half. While much of that will depend on whether the Vikings offense has the ball often in the first half and has some success, this could be one of the biggest games of Jackson's fledgling NFL career. To many fans, these games mean nothing. But for Jackson, this game could be huge for building his confidence and getting him ready for the regular season – something the Vikings defense denied him of last week against the Jets.

* Julian Peterson and Walter Jones have been officially scratched from Saturday's game for the Seahawks against the Vikings.
* Former Viking Daunte Culpepper will get the start for the Raiders against the Rams Friday. While JaMarcus Russell has continued his holdout, Culpepper has moved ahead of Josh McCown and Andrew Walter to the No. 1 QB spot for the Raiders.
* Fred Smoot, who was an expensive mistake with the Vikings, seems to be getting his groove back with the Redskins. At first thought to only be competing for a nickel back job, Smoot has played extremely well in training camp and the preseason, and coach Joe Gibbs said Thursday that if he continues to play the way he has, he will be starting in Week 1.
* Randy Moss missed practice with the Patriots again Wednesday, continuing a streak in which he hasn't practiced. The last day Moss practiced with the team was Aug. 1.
* Pete Kendall, the disgruntled guard of the Jets who had two botched shotgun snaps against the Vikings last week that resulted in one Vikings touchdown and killed another drive deep in Vikings territory, has been grousing about his contract for months. It appears that he will get his wish and get a new contract, but it will be part of a trade expected to be announced today. While published reports say the Jets have confirmed it is a done deal, there has been no definitive word as to who the team is that Kendall will go to. is reporting it will be to the Washington Redskins.

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