The Vikings won't be playing their starters on Thursday, and that holdback of top players is even more pronounced at the quarterback spot. Brooks Bollinger and rookie John David Booty will each play a half, according to head coach Brad Childress.
For the last week, there has been plenty of debate on the merits and risks of playing Tarvaris Jackson
in the preseason finale tomorrow night in Dallas. After days of questions heading into and out of the Pittsburgh game, head coach Brad Childress left no doubt Tuesday, announcing that not only will Jackson not see any action Thursday, but neither will backup Gus Frerotte
The announcement came after practice, a session in which Frerotte was surprisingly absent. Childress said that Frerotte was simply given the day off, saying that 37-year-old bodies need more time to heal in the NFL. Frerotte wasn't on the field for the portion of practice that was open to the media early, nor was he outside when practice ended.
Childress said that Brooks Bollinger
and John David Booty
will each play one half. When asked which would get the start, Childress said he didn't know for sure and that it may come down to a coin flip.
"Obviously they want to give a good accounting of themselves, whether they are handing it off or whether they are making a play on a naked or a screen or a drop-back pass. I just want to see where they are with our system," Childress said.
There had been plenty of media debate in the last few days about getting Jackson some cursory playing time to test the strained MCL in his knee, but, in the end, Childress and the coaching staff opted to err on the side of caution and not take any chances.
While the Vikings-Cowboys game will be televised locally, it won't be on KSTP-5, the local Twin Cities ABC affiliate. The game has been switched to KSTC-45, which is owned by the company that operates Channel 5. Why? Because the game conflicts with the anticipated speech from Barack Obama, who will address a stadium crowd in Denver Thursday night to officially accept the nomination of his party at the Democratic National Convention.
Childress said weather reports anticipate at game time temperature of about 97 degrees Thursday.
Bernard Berrian has played just three offensive series during the preseason and Madieu Williams hasn't played at all – giving little in the way of early returns for the two most prominent free-agent signings the team made this offseason (Jared Allen came via trade).
University of Minnesota coaching legend Murray Warmath was in attendance at practice Tuesday. Despite being bound to a wheelchair for the practice, Warmath looked in very good shape for a 95-year-old man.
In an "anti-Favre" move, Michael Strahan, who immediately jumped to the front burner of the Giants 2008 plans earlier this week, has told the team he intends to stay retired. Strahan, who quit after last season, was vacationing in Greece when he learned of the news of the season-ending knee injury to Osi Umenyiora. The Giants toyed with the idea of bringing Strahan back for upwards of $8 million for 2008, but Strahan opted to remain retired because he reportedly felt he couldn't give the effort – both mentally and physically – that would be required.
Robert Ferguson, who some believe may be in a battle with Martin Nance and a pair of rookies for a roster spot, missed a second straight practice Tuesday.
Former Vikings Daunte Culpepper and Koren Robinson both remain without teams just one game removed from the start of the regular season.
Tuesday's cuts were minimal for most teams, with most of the big names being placed on the P.U.P. list rather than part of the cuts. With rosters at 75 players, teams must trim down to 53 roster spots by Saturday afternoon.
The Bears surprised some local media types in Chicago be releasing CB Ricky Manning Jr. in the first batch of cuts. Manning, who had a promising career before falling into the doghouse last year, spent the last three years with the Bears.