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Early Storylines From Vikings Training Camp

August 1, 2010
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The Minnesota Vikings opened training camp last Friday. The team packed three practices into the first two days and things don’t appear to be slowing any time soon. After Sunday’s practice, there will be six straight two-a-day practices. It’s still early, but a few intriguing stories have begun to emerge from Mankato.

Injuries…

Neither Sidney Rice (hip) nor Cedric Griffin (knee) participated in practice. Both players have been placed on the active PUP list, but Rice has vowed to be ready for the season opener on September 9th. The Vikings can activate either player at any time during training camp.

Last year’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, Percy Harvin, gave the Vikings a scare Saturday morning when he had to be carted off the field. Harvin “tweaked” his ankle, but was able to return the same day for the evening practice session.

Center John Sullivan, who had offseason ankle surgery, went down after being kicked in the ankle. He downplayed the injury, saying “I’m fine. I’ll be out there [Sunday].”

The Welcome Wagon…

Defensive tackle Pat Williams and middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley each took an opportunity to welcome rookie Toby Gerhart to the team. Williams unapologetically flattened Gerhart early in practice, and minutes later, Brinkley laid out the rookie as he attempted to catch a pass out of the backfield. As Mike Wobschall of Vikings.com notes, “Neither hit was malicious and Gerhart wasn’t the least bit shaken up by them, but it did generate a reaction from the crowd and you know that Williams and Brinkley got a little joy out of the moment.”

Bright Lights…

The 2010 squad was announced with fireworks, but a particular quarterback has been stealing the limelight (No, not that one.) Sixth-round draft pick Joe Webb is a popular figure in Mankato.

On the Lighter Side…

Legendary Viking Alan Page gave coach Brad Childress a tour of Mankato in his 1906 Buick Model F.

Position Battles Heating Up…

A few positions to keep an eye on during camp are starting safety, backup running back, and backup defensive tackle. The hard-working folks at the Star Tribune note, “Jamarca Sanford got several reps with the first-team defense and most of the time it appeared to be in place of strong safety Tyrell Johnson. It won’t be surprising at all if a real competition develops for that job.”

Mike Wobschall of Vikings.com commented on the backup running back and defensive tackle positions. He reported that converted running back Darius Reynaud ran with the third team offense, while Toby Gerhart and Albert Young rotated with the first and second teams. Also in Saturday morning’s practice, Fred Evans and Jimmy Kennedy worked with the second team defense.

The quarterback depth chart opened with Tarvaris Jackson on top, followed by Sage Rosenfels, and then rookie Joe Webb. However, that order will surely change when Brett Favre returns, and with Rosenfels being picked off four times in Saturday evening’s practice, it could change even earlier than that.

Speaking of Favre…

Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune recently penned a column titled, “Favre’s excuses ring hollow.” Souhan believes that “Childress is right to wait for Favre,” but “Favre is wrong to keep Childress waiting.

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