Jackson handling the situation

QB Tarvaris Jackson has been with the Vikings before Brett Favre and is here while Favre isn't. Jackson will be the first quarterback on a mission tonight.

The first preseason game of the year is typically a cameo appearance for the starting 11 on both sides of the ball. As the Vikings prepare for their preseason opener at St. Louis tonight, Tarvaris Jackson is preparing to be the starter that plays just one series. Even though the shadow of Brett Favre looms over the QB position, Jackson remains philosophical, saying he plans to do what is expected of him in the role he ends up with – which, for the short-term anyway, is as the starter.

When asked what his expectations are for tonight, Jackson was pretty succinct – get in, get points and get out.

"Just and execute and do the best I can while I'm in there – make sure we move the chains and hopefully get a score so we can look at the other guys in," Jackson said.

When asked how he is handling the uncertainty of his position, where most believe Favre is delaying his eventual decision to come back, Jackson said he is focusing on the here and now and doesn't want to deal with hypotheticals – regardless of how close those hypotheticals are to being reality.

"I don't look at it," Jackson said. "I just come out every day and try to get better. When I get a chance to come out and get up under center, I try to take advantage of it. I feel like I've come a long way throughout this whole offseason."

Jackson said he has tried to maintain the focus that he is the starter and will be physically and mentally prepared for whatever comes his way. He said it's easy at camp, where he is the No. 1 guy, but added that it's hard to keep that frame of mind during the regular season if Favre is getting all of the first-team snaps.

"When the season is going on, it's hard to feel like a starter when you're not getting the reps," Jackson said. "You have to try to do it mentally, but it's a different mindset right now. You get a lot of reps and try to take advantage of it."

Jackson's 2010 season is picking up about where 2009 left off. He was the starter before Favre arrived, became the starter again as Favre mulls his future and could be the starter after Favre decides to retire for good. Until then, he's the yo-yo on the end of the string that simply doesn't know what the future holds for him as the Vikings quarterback. All he can do is the best he can with the limited opportunities he gets, beginning tonight against the Rams.


  • The Vikings have sent Percy Harvin a "five-day letter" in order to get a roster exemption while he is absent. The letter typically gives a player five days to report back to the team or be suspended for the season. The Vikings have no such intent with Harvin, but sent the letter procedurally in order to get an additional player on the roster. Harvin has been out since July 31.

  • The Vikings drew 64,000 fans to Mankato for the 13 days of training camp – up about 20 percent from last year.

  • Sam Bradford is going to get a pretty long look in his NFL debut. A.J. Feeley is expected to start tonight against the Vikings and play a couple of series, with Bradford playing the rest of the first half and perhaps briefly into the second half.

  • The Rams' other top rookie pick, offensive tackle Rodger Saffold, also makes his debut tonight. His challenge? To stop Jared Allen, if he plays. Welcome to the NFL, kid.

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