The Vikings announced Sunday that both LB Heath Farwell and DE Jayme Mitchell are out for the season after suffering torn anterior cruciate knee ligaments.
Vikings head coach Brad Childress had the uncomfortable job of telling fans and the media that Friday's loss to the Seahawks came at a heavy price. He announced that both linebacker and special team ace Heath Farwell
and defensive end Jayme Mitchell
are both lost for the season after both suffered torn anterior cruciate ligaments in their knees.
"A tough part of this business is injuries," Childress said. "It's an unforgiving game from that standpoint. It's a violent game. We have been on the grass down here. Could have been the Astroturf? I don't know, You can look for as many explanations as you want."
Farwell's injury came when the leg got rolled up in the first quarter, while Mitchell's injury happened on his first play of the game. Childress said Mitchell's injury was a fluke because it was a pass rush he has done a thousand times in training camp. Farwell was entering his fourth season and had distinguished himself as a top special teams player. Mitchell, who was entering his third season, was being counted on for a defensive line that was without 2007 players Erasmus James, Kenechi Udeze
and Darrion Scott. Mitchell was second on the depth chart Friday against Seattle at left defensive end. Now that position is being manned by undrafted rookie Leger Douzable
Childress said the Vikings will work out some free agents and check the waiver wire, but that injuries are part of the game and that the Vikings will have to adjust and move forward.
"We're not the only ones," Childress said. "The Redskins lost a couple of (defensive ends) on the first day. It just happens in this business. It's just the way it is."
SUNDAY PRACTICE NOTES
The Vikings couldn't have asked for better weather Sunday for their lone practice – sunny with temperatures hovering at about 80 degrees with light wind.
Once again, the team practiced without pads. The Vikings have practiced in full pads just four times during training camp.
Marcus McCauley returned to the practice field Sunday, as did TE Garrett Mills. McCauley was injured during a scrimmage with the Chiefs, while Mills had been out since early in training camp after rolling an ankle when his legs got tangled with safety Madieu Williams.
DT Kenderick Allen and OT Marcus Johnson were also out of practice Sunday.
In kick return drills, the Vikings had Aundrae Allison, Darius Reynaud and Albert Young handling return duties.
Artis Hicks earned some kudos from his coaches for consistently getting in position to run the wedge on kick returns.
Visanthe Shiancoe was also getting work in the wedge on the return teams.
The defensive backs worked on tracking down deep passes for interceptions. Darren Sharper and Dee McCann each had impressive over-the-shoulder catches. On the flip side, safety Husain Abdullah had a pretty ugly drop.
The tight ends had a bizarre practice drill, as one player crouched on all-fours while another player laid on his back with a teammate holding his feet and the player across the back of his teammate being thrown passes.
A lot of players were dinged up but practicing Sunday. WR Martin Nance had his left knee wrapped, as did wide receiver Nate Jones. WR Robert Ferguson had sleeves on both of his knees. FB Thomas Tapeh had his right knee wrapped and DE Otis Grisby had his left knee wrapped.
Tarvaris Jackson was erratic during practice, consistently delivering passes high that either went incomplete or required receivers to leap to catch them.
Fullback Naufahu Tahi was in uniform and played defense for some passing drills, but never had a helmet on and took part in very little of practice.
Adrian Peterson, who didn't have a carry in the preseason opener, was used sparingly in practice Sunday.
The offense practiced employing three-step drops on passing plays.
Jared Allen was extremely explosive in 11-on-11 drills, routinely blowing past his man and pressuring Jackson.
Gus Frerotte had a solid day of practice, highlighted by a completion down the deep seam to tight end Braden Jones. He did have a bad play, however, as he had a pass batted and intercepted by DE Martail Burnett.
The fashion statement of the day was provided by the defense, which had Sharper, McCauley and Ray Edwards all wearing knee-high socks.
John David Booty was taking reps with the third unit, ahead of Brooks Bollinger.
Douzable had a solid practice, batting down a Booty pass and forcing him to alter another.
Jackson was intercepted by Charles Gordon on a deep pass intended for Sidney Rice.
CB Cedric Griffin was playing with a clear plastic shield on his helmet, which occasionally caused a blinding flash.
Jackson had a sweet pass to Shiancoe that caught the defense out of position and was sprung for a big gain. Childress has said Shiancoe has had a very strong training camp.
The team huddled for almost 15 minutes after practice.
The team returns to the field tomorrow for practice from 9-11 a.m. and a special teams practice from 2:15-3:15 p.m.