Injuries coming into clearer focus

While we still don't know the likelihood of some of the injured players being able to contribute on Thursday night, the Vikings issued their first injury report on Monday.

The Vikings haven't been required to be forthcoming about the extent of injuries during the preseason, but, on the doorstep of the start to the regular season, the team is forced to list what players are and aren't taking part in practice on the team's injury report.

Two Vikings – cornerback Chris Cook and Jimmy Kennedy – missed practice with knee injuries. Cook isn't expected to play, while Kennedy's injury is believed to be more recently suffered and his status appears doubtful for Thursday.

Four other players – CB Cedric Griffin (knee), center John Sullivan (calf), safety Jamarca Sanford (ankle) and RB Toby Gerhart (knee) – were limited in Monday's practice, which, by normal NFL work weeks, would be Thursday.

Brett Favre was listed on the report with his ankle problem, but he took part in the entire practice.

The biggest news for the Vikings was that Sullivan was back in practice and being put through his paces. The Vikings have juggled the center position while he has been down, alternately playing backup center Jon Cooper and right guard Anthony Herrera at center. When Herrera is playing center, rookie guard Chris DeGeare has taken his spot at right guard.

"He's looked good," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said of Sullivan. "We need to get him out there as much as we can, try to load it as much as he can at this point, and see how it's going to hold up. His conditioning has looked good. He's done things on the side, whether it's in the pool, whether it's with (athletic trainer) Eric Sugarman, to keep his conditioning up. But it's a matter of loading it up and making sure that it will hold up under 65 or 70 plays a game, all the way up to 90 plays."

We likely aren't going to know until shortly before game time whether Sullivan will start or be inactive and whether Griffin will be available for spot duty as a nickel or dime cornerback. Griffin continues to work out primarily on his own and hasn't been fully incorporated back into practice.

The regular season will force the Vikings to come clean on the injuries to their players and the severity of those injuries. On Wednesday, the team will have to place the likelihood that the injured players will see action, ranging from probable (all but certain to play), questionable (50/50), doubtful (about a 25 percent of playing) or out. We will likely get a better handle on the lineup questions then.


  • The Saints had only two reserves miss practice Monday – LB Stanley Arnoux (ankle) and RB Chris Ivorey (knee). Two starters were limited – CB Tracy Porter (knee) and LB Jonathan Vilma (groin). Wide receiver Marques Colston was listed with a kidney bruise, but he took part in the entire practice and is expected to play Thursday.

  • Former Vikings safety Darren Sharper was talking a good game about playing the Vikings after having microfracture surgery and re-signing with the Saints, but he won't play, having been placed on the physically unable to perform list.

  • A day after releasing fullback Tony Richardson, the Jets re-signed him Monday. The rationale was that the team needed cornerback depth and kept an extra CB at the expense of Richardson. But, when Pro Bowler Darrelle Revis signed his contract, it meant that the need at CB was reduced greatly and Richardson was re-signed.

  • Randy Moss is grousing in New England. He told CBS Sportsline Monday that he feels unwanted with the Patriots, who have allowed him to enter the final year of his contract without talking about an extension.

  • Former Vikings QB J.T. O'Sullivan signed a one-year deal with the Chargers Monday.

    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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