Notebook: Longwell says QB still struggling

Ryan Longwell keeps in almost daily contact with Brett Favre, and he agreed with a characterization that Favre is ‘tortured' by his decision on whether or not to return for a 20th NFL season. Plus, Adrian Peterson continues to escalate his reps while other stars remain sidelined.

Ryan Longwell didn't see the FoxSports.com report saying that Brett Favre is "tortured" by his decision on whether or not he will come back for the 2010 season, which would be his 20th in the NFL, but Longwell said that is an accurate description of Favre's state

"I would say so. I would say, like I said last week, deep down I think he really wants to play, loves the guys, loves the locker room," said Longwell, a longtime friend of Favre. "But if you can't play and give it your all like you're used to playing with injuries and stuff, then that kind of leaves you in a bind. You know, what do you do? I would say it's definitely weighed heavy."

Favre had surgery to remove bone spurs and scar tissue from his ankle in late May and told reporters in Hattiesburg, Miss., last week that if the ankle is healthy he would play. He is scheduled to have a follow-up appointment with Dr. James Andrews at some point this week, but Vikings coach Brad Childress said he didn't know which day that would occur.

Longwell said Favre's visit with Dr. Andrews should help, but it might still come down to how Favre is feeling about the ankle.

"I think it will help, but at the same time if he says it's absolutely perfect and you wake up and everyday your foot hits the ground when you get out of bed it's aching, then words don't mean a lot at that point," Longwell said. "I think (the appointment) will be a factor. How big a factor, I'm not sure about that."

Favre texted teammates indicating he was retiring last week, but the team reportedly offered to increase his financial incentives to return, from $13 million to $20 million, but Favre said it wasn't about money.

According to Fox Sports, several veterans also started a campaign of calling and texting Favre to let him know how much he means to the team. Longwell said Favre wanted to make a decision in the past two weeks, but the uncertainty with the ankle is preventing that.

"Unfortunately, the injury just hasn't allowed that. I think he'd like to do it sooner than later, but at that same time wait as long as he can and see if he gets any more action out of the ankle and see if he gets a little better," Longwell said.

Childress said he texted Favre on Monday morning, but didn't have any update of substance.

RETURN TO ACTION

Running back Adrian Peterson continues to ramp up his workload and received the majority of the first-team reps during Monday morning's full practice.

"It's just great to see him out here getting those turns. He looks fresh-legged. There is someplace he's going to go through camp legs somewhere as the volume starts to build. It's just great to have him back out there," Childress said.

Asked if Peterson would play in the preseason opener Saturday in St. Louis, Childress said, "I'm not going to characterize it either way until I figure out what I'm going to do with all those guys."

While Peterson returned to action, several other Vikings remained sidelined, including Sidney Rice (hip) and Cedric Griffin (knee) – both are on the physically-unable-perform (PUP) list – Darius Reynaud (ankle), J Leman (leg), Anthony Herrera (undisclosed) and Visanthe Shiancoe (undisclosed).

Percy Harvin also remains away from camp following the death of his grandmother. Harvin has missed eight days of practice.

After dealing with a similar situation in 2007 with receiver Troy Williamson, when Childress fined Williamson a game check before rescinding that action at the request of veteran teammates, Childress said he is taking a different approach with Harvin.

"The thing that I've learned is that everybody grieves differently," Childress said. "That's just the facts. You've got to be able to respect that and appreciate that."

MONDAY AFTERNOON NOTES

  • Childress said he hasn't decided yet who will play and for how long in Saturday's game, but offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Tarvaris Jackson will start at quarterback.

  • With John Sullivan acting as the emergency long snapper on Monday, a few snaps to holder Chris Kluwe were skipping off the ground. Cullen Loeffler, the team's long snapper for punts and field goals, was attending to a family matter on Monday and missed practice. "You just realize the value of how important he is – both just the rhythm of the operation and protection too," Longwell said.

  • Childress said the team would be holding its last live-contact practice of Mankato on Tuesday. The actual game-planning for the preseason opener is minimal, starting with the night before the final practice of the week.

  • The injuries on the offensive line forced a different, less-experienced look in the afternoon practice, with Jon Cooper filling in for a limited Sullivan (calf) at center and rookie Chris DeGeare starting for Herrera (undisclosed) at right guard.

  • When Jasper Brinkley is taking the first-team reps at middle linebacker in the base defense, Ben Leber remains in the game when the Vikings go to a nickel package. Before E.J. Henderson's injury, the middle linebacker stayed in the game and Leber left the field.

  • A scaled-back afternoon practice produced very little resistance from the defense, so the only big mistake of the shortened full-team period was when Albert Young cut inside on a passing route and Tarvaris Jackson anticipated him cutting outside, resulting in an incompletion. Otherwise, there was little to glean from an observational standpoint during the afternoon.

  • Apparently the fans agreed, as the stands weren't even half full during the sweltering heat. That's a change from most of the practices this year, which have produced 3,000 to 4,000 fans, with some night practices getting even larger attendance.


    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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