Vikings roster battles continue

The starting job at quarterback is wrapped up, but the battle at that position has moved to the primary backup spot. With the majority of starting positions spoken for on the mostly veteran team, quarterback continues to be a focal point, even after the Brett Favre signing.

BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Tarvaris Jackson vs. Sage Rosenfels for backup quarterback – Things have certainly changed when it comes to this situation. For the first two weeks of training camp, this battle was for the starting job. But Brett Favre's arrival ended that, and now Jackson and Rosenfels are attempting to stick around as the backup. Jackson didn't hurt himself with a strong performance in the Vikings' second preseason game against Kansas City. He completed 12 of 15 passes for 202 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a perfect 158.3 passer rating. That, of course, came after Jackson struggled in the preseason opener at Indianapolis. Rosenfels got the start in that game – days before Favre's arrival – and completed 10 of 13 passes for 91 yards in two series. However, Rosenfels hurt his ankle in that game and was unable to play against Kansas City.

OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Benny Sapp appears to have created some separation in his quest to keep the job as the inside corner in the nickel defense. Rookie Asher Allen has put the most pressure on Sapp for the job, but Sapp has been the first defensive back used in the nickel in the opening two preseason games.

  • Jaymar Johnson appears to still be in the lead for the fifth wide receiver spot because of his ability to return punts. He returned both in the Vikings' preseason game against the Chiefs. Darius Reynaud also is making a good case to make the roster, however. Reynaud caught two passes for 88 yards with a 64-yard touchdown from Tarvaris Jackson against Kansas City. Reynaud, though, does not return punts. Glenn Holt also has been involved in this competition.

  • Albert Young, who spent last season on the Vikings' practice squad, is battling rookies Ian Johnson, Kahlil Bell and Antone Smith for the third-string role at running back. Young's year of experience in the Vikings system appears to give him the edge. He had a team-high 14 carries for 58 yards in the first preseason game and got five carries for 17 yards in the second exhibition contest.

    PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Tarvaris Jackson didn't have an easy week after the sudden news that Brett Favre had decided to join the Vikings, but Jackson certainly played well in his team's 17-13 victory over Kansas City. In two-plus quarters of action, which followed Favre's two series, Jackson completed 12 of 15 passes for 202 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a perfect 158.3 passer rating.

    ROOKIE REPORT: First-round wide receiver Percy Harvin made his Vikings debut against Kansas City after being held out in Week 1 of the preseason because of a shoulder injury. Harvin caught two passes for 9 yards and also returned two kickoffs for a 26.5-yard average versus the Chiefs. Harvin is almost certain to open the regular season as the Vikings' primary kickoff return man.

  • Second-round offensive right tackle Phil Loadholt appears to be locked in as the starting right offensive tackle. Loadholt is solid in the run game but must improve in pass protection.

  • Third-round cornerback Asher Allen is competing for a spot in the nickel and will be expected to contribute on special teams.

  • Fifth-round linebacker Jasper Brinkley is vying for the job backing up starting middle linebacker E.J. Henderson. Also in the mix is former CFL player Kenny Onatolu. Brinkley has shown he's not afraid to throw a big hit and should make the team based on what he can do for special teams.

  • Seventh-round safety Jamarca Sanford most likely is going to end up on the practice squad, but will attempt to make the 53-man roster based on how much he can help special teams.

  • Free-agent center Jon Cooper is getting work with the second team behind John Sullivan and appears to have a solid shot to make the team.

    INJURY REPORT: DE Jared Allen suffered an ankle injury early last week in practice and did not play in the second preseason game against Kansas City. He is expected to be ready for the Vikings' third preseason game on Aug. 31 at Houston.

  • WR Bernard Berrian has missed the past week because of a hamstring injury, but is expected to be ready to go against Houston. He started light jogging earlier this week.

  • QB Sage Rosenfels did not practice last week after turning his ankle early in the Vikings' preseason opener against Indianapolis. Rosenfels did not play against the Chiefs last Friday but should be ready to go at Houston. He returned to practice on Tuesday.

  • TE Garrett Mills returned to practice after being very limited because of a shoulder injury.

  • TE Jim Kleinsasser did not practice last week because of a hand injury and has his hand in a cast. He called the injury "annoying."

  • Cornerback Marcus McCauley injured his groin against the Colts and did not play versus Kansas City. He appeared to be at least limited in practice on Tuesday.

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