Let's Get Ready To Rumble

James Taylor is known for his soft rock ballads. Yes, he's seen fire and rain, but he's also quick to remind us that you've got a friend. However, when the James Taylor involved in Wednesday's locker room dust-up are Erasmus James and Chester Taylor, you don't necessarily shower the people you love with love.

Call it frustration. Call it tempers flaring in the heat of battle. But what most of us simply call it is a fight.

That's what happened in the locker room of the Vikings Wednesday after practice, according to several media reports, a dust-up serious enough for head coach Brad Childress to call a team meeting to address the matter.

According to those who were in the locker room at the time, the incident erupted between defensive end Erasmus James and running back Chester Taylor. While it was unclear what got the argument to turn physical, James threw a punch that hit Taylor in the right side of the face below his eye. Taylor then retaliated by throwing a chair at James that missed and inadvertently hit left tackle Bryant McKinnie, according to the Star Tribune. Taylor, who is very good friends with McKinnie, allegedly stopped the fight when he saw his friend had been hit with the chair.

During the open locker room media session Thursday, Taylor was seen sporting a black eye. Interestingly, James was added to the injury report with what was termed a shoulder injury. It is unclear whether the injury occurred during Wednesday's practice or was the result of his altercation with Taylor. Sunday could be the first game James has played since tearing his left ACL in the second game of the 2006 season. Or he could continue to be deactivated.

* A war of words has been developing between Darren Sharper and the Bears tight ends. As reported here, Sharper had some straightforward comments about the Bears tight ends, saying that he is never concerned with tight ends coming into his zone and if one "catches a ball on me, I should be fired." Desmond Clark of the Bears didn't take kindly to those words, telling reporters with tongue firmly in check "I guess when you're the best safety in the league – a first-ballot Hall of Famer, the Brett Favre of safeties – you can do that. I guess he's a shut-down safety."
* While Brad Childress continues to be cagey about who will be his starting quarterback Sunday, the telling stat is that Tarvaris Jackson took more first-team snaps both Wednesday and Thursday than veteran backup Kelly Holcomb – a sign that the Vikings plan to let No. 7 return under center Sunday. Jackson was still listed as limited in practice, but his rep numbers continue to climb.
* Hopefully Jackson doesn't play fantasy football or read USA Today. In the paper's Sports Weekly magazine, they listed their top 25 fantasy quarterbacks for the week. Jackson wasn't on the list. With six teams on bye this week, there are only 26 starting quarterbacks taking the field. I guess we know who the one omitted player was.
* Both Dwight Smith (hamstring) and Ben Leber (ribs) were listed as limited in their practice ability Thursday.
* Bears linebacker Lance Briggs (hamstring) was added to the injury report for the Bears Thursday and didn't practice.
* With Darrion Scott out for the season, Fred Evans is expected to take his spot on the active roster this week. Evans hasn't been active on the gameday roster since Week 1 vs. the Falcons.
* While the Vikings apparently aren't going to be trading Mewelde Moore as was rumored last week when word out of Buccaneers camp said the teams had spoken about a deal, the same may not be true for Lions RB Tatum Bell. Acquired as part of the Dre Bly trade in the offseason, the Lions are apparently willing to part with Bell now that the team is convinced Kevin Jones is back close to 100 percent.
* Former Vikings quarterback Wade Wilson returned to Cowboys practice this week after being forced to sit out a five-game suspension for using "performance-enhancing substances." It's unclear what sort of substances can make someone a better coach or "enhance" his "performance," but at least the case showed that the league tests everyone in the organization, not just the players.
* Former Viking Raonall Smith has been ruled out again this week for the Rams with a knee injury.

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