Vikings could be short-handed Friday

The Vikings had a number of starters that continued to be sidelined during Wednesday's practice. See what they had to say about their progress and get practice notes from the last open session of the week for media.

The Vikings likely will have a different starter at quarterback on Friday night as Brett Favre continues to familiarize himself with Brad Childress' version of the West Coast offense, but the team could be short-handed at a few other positions.

The team completed its final full day of practices before Friday's preseason home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, and several would-be starters weren't getting much work in practice.

Bernard Berrian continued to get treatment for a hamstring injury suffered in the first quarter of the Vikings' win over the Indianapolis Colts and it doesn't appear that he will be ready to play in two days.

The same is likely true for Jared Allen, who hurt his ankle in Monday's practice and was nowhere to be seen during Tuesday's session. The situation looked dramatically better on Wednesday, when Allen walked into the field house (rain forced practice inside) without a pronounced limp and gave defensive line coach Karl Dunbar a high five. In fact, Allen took part in stretching and some individual drills, but he never participated in any team work.

While he abided by head coach Brad Childress' wishes for players to not talk about their injuries, Allen certainly didn't hurt his sense of humor.

"I can't answer those questions," he said when asked how his ankle was doing. "That's for Coach Childress to answer. But I saw a saw in (the trainer's) office. That's all I have to say."

Reporters weren't the only people that Allen joked with.

"He pulled a practical joke on me yesterday and said he was going to be out for six weeks and almost gives me a heart attack," Frazier said. "But, no, he's going to be fine. He's a big jokester."

In addition to Berrian, the Vikings were missing a couple of other offensive starters for practice. Tight end Jim Kleinsasser attended practice but was limited with a wrap on his left wrist, and quarterback Sage Rosenfels continued to sit out of team drills while he recovers from an ankle injury suffered in last Friday's game.

"I'm just trying to get my ankle right. It felt better today," Rosenfels said. "It's feeling pretty good, but not where I need it to be. But I'm out here and just working and trying to get better."

Rosenfels wasn't sure about his availability for Friday night, but it seems unlikely he would play much since he hasn't practice at all this week.

"Yesterday morning I would have said absolutely no chance (for Friday). It was pretty swollen and really sore. But it's quickly improving. I've been a quick healer in the past," he said. "Hopefully it keeps improving very quickly. Fortunately we're in the preseason so it's not life or death right now."

One other Viking, cornerback Marcus McCauley, also didn't practice, although he worked out for a trainer in the corner of the end zone for a portion of practice.

NOTES

  • Favre and Tarvaris Jackson continued to split first-team reps in practice, but Favre seemed to be taking on more of the offense. He added a dimension of pump fakes, play action and hard counts, a potential indication that he was more comfortable with the plays he was running. He wasn't available for comment after practice Wednesday.

  • Former NFL coach and current television analyst Steve Mariucci attended practice. Mariucci was Favre's position coach for four years in Green Bay in the early and mid 1990s.

  • According to Mariucci, who talked to Favre after practice, the quarterback was particularly happy with a post-route pass that he zipped between defenders to Sidney Rice.

  • That wasn't the only impressive throw Favre made. He also showed good timing and awareness during red-zone work when he threw it high in the back corner of the end zone for first-round draft pick Percy Harvin, who made an impressive one-handed grab.

  • Safety Madieu Williams intercepted a John David Booty pass that was batted up in the air at the line of scrimmage. After the deflection, Williams caught the ball in stride and would have scored a touchdown if it were live action.


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