Friday feature: What could have been

Without the Brett Favre signing, Tarvaris Jackson could have been playing for a starting job tonight. Now? He's playing for a roster spot. It truly is the Not For Long league.

If you rewind to Monday, tonight's game with the Kansas City Chiefs could have been a watershed moment for Tarvaris Jackson and John David Booty. With Sage Rosenfels sidelined with an ankle injury sustained last week vs. the Colts, it was likely that T-Jack and Booty would play a half each tonight – Jackson with a chance to help his bid for the starting job and Booty getting some extended playing time to impress coaches.

Fast forward four days and the scenario is much different. Now the new quarterback competition has begun, as Jackson and Booty find themselves fighting for their roster lives as members of the Vikings.

The arrival of Brett Favre has all but ended the competition for the starting job that was promised when the Vikings traded for Rosenfels in the spring. The competition has become a numbers game more akin to "Survivor" than a healthy battle for a pecking order among the three QBs. The quest for supremacy among the three QBs has turned into a battle for survival, with the loser likely to be gone from the roster completely.

The dynamic has changed incredibly in the whirlwind few days since Favre showed up at Winter Park. Rosenfels has taken the news like a professional. He's not happy, but is taking the new circumstances as best he can. He knows that when push comes to shove, he should still have a spot on the final roster. Jackson and Booty can't say the same with as much confidence.

Fans usually don't get excited about the preseason until the third game, when the starters play a half or into the third quarter. Tonight may be just the second game, but the ramifications of the quarterback play tonight will go a long way to determining who stays and who goes for the Vikings.


  • Lost in the shuffle of the Favre furor is that first-round draft pick Percy Harvin will also be making his Vikings debut tonight. Expect the Vikings to use their rookie pick in several different roles during his brief outing, giving teams something to concern themselves with other than Favre or Adrian Peterson.

  • The offensive and defensive starters are expected to play about a quarter, with Favre anticipated to play just one or two series at the most.

  • It will likely be a gametime decision whether Jared Allen plays tonight or not, but it seems unlikely. If he does play, it will be his first meeting against the Chiefs since being traded to the Vikings prior to the 2008 draft.

  • Rumor out of Canada is that, if Jackson is released, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers would be very interested in bringing him to the CFL. However, it is viewed as a last resort for most NFL players to head north to Canada to play. It's likely that if Jackson is the QB released that at least a couple of NFL teams will be interested in signing him.

  • Six former NFL players, including three former Vikings, have filed a class action suit against the NFL for using their names, images and likenesses on NFL Films productions. The players include Jim Marshall, Joe Senser and Ed White.

  • Troy Williamson continues to have a strong training camp and head coach Jack Del Rio referred to him as "one of the team's bright spots" of the preseason.

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