Cornerback Cedric Griffin is pushing the timetable to return from a torn ACL and he sounds anxious to get back on the practice field for real football work instead of conditioning and strengthening exercises, citing his passion for the game. Plus, get more than a dozen notes from the Saturday morning practice.
doesn't mind pushing the timetable on an injury that normally takes nine months to a year from which to recover. In fact, Griffin sounds downright anxious to get back on the practice field after only about six months of rehabbing a torn left anterior cruciate ligament he suffered in overtime of the NFC Championship Game.
"I don't have a timetable right now. I wanted to participate in training camp and I wasn't able to. My timetables are up, I'm not giving no more," Griffin said Saturday morning after practice. "Whenever I'm ready, I'm going to go out there – and I will be ready."
Right now, he just isn't ready. He started training camp on Friday on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list and has spent the first two practices running and conditioning on a third practice field while his teammates were going through a more normal routine on the main two practice fields at Mankato State, Minnesota.
While a normal timetable might indicate Griffin is a few months from really pushing it, he says he's able to do everything his healthy teammates can.
"Whatever you see the DBs (defensive backs) doing today, that's what I did. If you observed the DB's practice, that's what I did today," he said after Saturday morning's session.
Except he wasn't practicing with the full team and he went inside for a while after stretching with the team. He might have to be patient, but it doesn't sound like something he's particularly interested in doing.
"I'm ready to play football right now," he said. "This is my dream, playing in the NFL, and I've been doing it five years. I love playing football. I love hitting. I love intercepting the ball. Whenever they say I'm ready and whenever I feel like I'm ready, I'll be out there and I'll be competing and I'll be making plays for the Vikings."
SATURDAY MORNING NOTES
Cornerback Asher Allen continues to make plays all over the field. On defense, he has been pretty tight with his coverage and on special teams he likely would have blocked a Ryan Longwell field goal if the action was live.
Running backs coach Eric Bieniemy isn't playing favorites. His intense coaching style comes through with all the players and he doesn't show favorites. He was working especially hard on the footwork and hand placement of the backs during blocking drill on Saturday morning.
The quarterback reps continue to be split like the depth chart would dictate, with Tarvaris Jackson running the first team, Sage Rosenfels with the second team and Joe Webb with the third team. During the last day of minicamp in June, Webb was taking the second-team reps.
During early work, Ben Leber undercut a route by Adrian Peterson to intercept a Rosenfels pass.
Jamarca Sanford continued to rotate in with the first-team defense. On Saturday, he was taking the reps of Tyrell Johnson and said he expects there to be a competition for that job.
Percy Harvin made a diving catching on a long throw from Jackson. With Asher Allen in tight coverage, Harvin made the catch but was hit by Allen shortly after touching the ball. The contact resulted in Harvin's helmet coming off, but he didn't appear to be injured on that play. However, later in practice, Harvin left the field on a cart and the extent of his injury wasn't immediately known.
CB Benny Sapp also left the field on a cart during practice, but he returned a while later and it appeared to be cramps or dehydration.
Despite taking an aggressive approach to getting back on the field early following a fractured femur in December, LB E.J. Henderson is being held back from full contact and appears to still be getting up to speed physically. Jasper Brinkley is taking first-team reps when Henderson isn't on the field.
With Griffin out, Allen is taking first-team reps, along with Lito Sheppard, at right cornerback. During some nickel looks, both are on the field with Antoine Winfield.
Winfield said he is completely healed from his fractured foot last year. He suffered the injury in October, missed six games, and said it was no longer an issue in minicamp.
Although CB Chris Cook is willing to play safety, he says he hasn't been approached by the coaching staff to do that and it seems like an unlikely proposition at this point. Cooks appears to be getting more comfortable with the defense.
TE Visanthe Shiancoe made a nice catch across the middle of the field, extending for a high throwing and coming down in stride.
Rookie Chris DeGeare and Ryan Cook are getting most of the second-team reps at guard, with Patrick Brown and Drew Radovich getting the majority of the second-team reps at tackle.
DE Ray Edwards knocked down a Jackson pass on a play in which Jared Allen was bearing down on Jackson from the back side. A few plays later, Allen had a touch sack of Rosenfels.
A sign that it is early in training camp: false starts. The offense had a number of them on Saturday morning.
Safety Husain Abdullah undercut a route by Visanthe Shiancoe and intercepted a pass by Jackson, who stumbled while rolling out and appeared to throw it late and sidearm.
DT Pat Williams had the hit of the day. After rookie RB Toby Gerhart caught a screen pass, he turned upfield and was met by Williams, who joked on Thursday about his sideline-to-sideline speed. Gerhart went crashing to the ground while Williams stood over him.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.