Bernard Berrian wasn't shocked that his former teammates found a way to win Monday night despite looking brutal on offense for most of the game, but also admitted he will be keeping an eye on the progress of the Bears-Texans game Sunday when he's not on the field himself.
The Vikings spent Monday night watching and hoping that their hated rival, the Packers, would do them a pre-holiday favor and officially eliminate the Bears from the playoff race. As we all know by now that didn't happen, but one Viking in particular was Bernard Berrian
, who spent the first four years of his pro career as a teammate of many of the current Bears.
When Mason Crosby
's 38-yard game-winning field goal was blocked at the end of regulation, Berrian said he wasn't surprised, because the Bears have always had a knack for making big special teams plays, but that wasn't what irked him following the game.
"I didn't think he was going to make, but that isn't what made me mad," Berrian said. "What really bothered me was that the Packers didn't challenge a fourth-down play earlier when they were going in for a touchdown. I didn't think the Bears made it and thought they should have challenged it. Then the field goal wouldn't have meant anything."
With the Vikings' loss and the Bears' win, the feeling is that the star players – from Berrian to Adrian Peterson
to Jared Allen
to Antoine Winfield
– all need to step up for the biggest game of the season. But Berrian said it goes well beyond them. Every player on the roster needs to do his part.
"Everybody needs to step up their game," Berrian said. "We still have work to do. We're not in the playoffs yet. Everybody has to do their part if we're going to reach our goal."
He also admitted that he will do a little scoreboard watching. There has been talk that the Vikings will instruct the scoreboard operator not to show the score of the Bears-Texans game, which will be played at the same time as the Vikings-Giants game, on the Jumbotron. Head coach Brad Childress said he made a decision on that, but Berrian said he'll sneak a peek from the sidelines to see what is going on in Houston if that score is being shown.
When asked if he will be watching, Berrian paused, gave a long "Uhhhhhh," smiled and said he would.
"Yeah," Berrian said. "It doesn't really matter if we take care of our job. We won't have to worry about it. But, I'm not going to lie, I'm sure I'll be looking to see how they're doing. People can say they don't care or won't look, but they're probably lying."
CHRISTMAS DAY NOTES
Berrian (ankle) and Pat Williams (shoulder) were the only Vikings who didn't take part in Wednesday's practice. Six others were limited in their participation – Jared Allen (knee), Gus Frerotte (back), Artis Hicks (elbow), Maurice Hicks (back), Darius Reynaud (foot), Darren Sharper (knee).
Four Giants players did not participate in practice Wednesday – TE Kevin Boss (ankle/concussion), DT Barry Cofield (knee), CB Aaron Ross (concussion) and LB Gerris Wilkinson (knee). Four others had limited participation – RB Brandon Jacobs (knee), OT Kareem McKenzie (back), DT Fred Robbins (shoulder) and DE Justin Tuck (leg).
One of the names that has surfaced as a potential future Viking is Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who has been under fire at different times this season with an up-and-down Eagles team that has looked like world-beaters in some games and bums in the next. However, during his Wednesday press conference, McNabb said he expects to return to the Eagles next season.
Hicks returned to practice Wednesday, but it is unclear whether he or Ryan Cook will start at right tackle Sunday.
Jared Allen held court with the media again Wednesday. When asked what he thought about the Bears overtime win, he was his usual pithy self. "Hot garbage," Allen said of his impression of the win. "I was so mad. I was like, ‘holy smokes,' because I'm a guy who doesn't care if we back in or sidestep in. As long as we're in, that's all I care about."