Vikings training camp goals

Vikings observers have concerns with two of the team's biggest offensive stars, and the health of several others will be monitored in the early stages of training camp and the preseason.

  • Facilitate Favre's return: The Vikings have operated all offseason as if they fully expect Brett Favre to return for a second season as their quarterback. But as camp approaches, now it's time to turn that expectation into a reality.

    Favre, as he did last offseason, recently expressed doubt about whether he would play. Last year, it was a surgically repaired biceps tendon in Favre's throwing shoulder that was cause for concern. This year Favre is trying to decide if he will be able to go after having arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle in late May.

    Coach Brad Childress visited with Favre in Hattiesburg, Miss., last week and it's likely the Vikings' coach was at least trying to get some sort of answer on how Favre is feeling. Childress did not give Favre a timetable, but Childress said the ankle didn't appear to be a concern.

    The expectation is that Favre won't take part in the Mankato portion of training camp (which ends on Aug.12), but that isn't a huge issue considering he skipped that part of camp last year and had one of the best seasons of his career, leading the team to the NFC title game.

    The Vikings are fully prepared to have Tarvaris Jackson run the first-team offense in the summer heat of camp.

    Although some may criticize them, the Vikings aren't going to have a big problem with Favre if he elects to show up late. It's what happens if he does not show up at all that is the real issue.

  • Solve Peterson's fumbling problem: Adrian Peterson spent only a few days at Winter Park this offseason working out. Instead, he elected to train near his home in Houston and even skipped the mandatory three-day minicamp so he could attend a day held in his honor in his hometown of Palestine, Tex.

    The Vikings can only hope that Peterson spent some of his offseason working to resolve a fumbling issue that has become a major problem. Peterson has rushed for 4,484 yards in three regular seasons but has fumbled 20 times and lost 13.

    He also fumbled twice in the NFC title game last season, although neither resulted in a turnover. Opponents are now regularly going after the football when it's in Peterson's possession.

    Childress has said he's not going to attempt to change Peterson's aggressive style of running and refusal to go down even when a play is near over, but it's clear something has to be done.

  • Get healthy: Middle linebacker E.J. Henderson (broken leg) and cornerback Cedric Griffin (ACL) might have to begin training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list, leaving Jasper Brinkley and veteran Lito Sheppard to replace them for the short term.

    Brinkley, a fifth-round pick in 2009, replaced Henderson last December. While he proved to be solid against the run it was clear he needed some work in the passing game. Sheppard, meanwhile, was signed in April after a disappointing season with the Jets.

    The Vikings also could have an issue with Pro Bowl wide receiver Sidney Rice, who is dealing with a lingering hip injury suffered in last season's playoffs. Rice expressed optimism he will be ready for the start of the season, but it remains to be seen if he will take part in the early portion of training camp.

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