The big story coming out of the Vikings’ 23-15 preseason win over the Ravens (a game I saw none of) was the injury to Tarvaris Jackson, who got his knee banged up while running. The team is calling the injury a bruise and is acting like it’s no big deal. It is, however, a very big deal, given Jackson’s history of injuries (he missed three games last year) and his tendency to not be cautious enough when he breaks the pocket and runs (such a play resulted in him suffering a concussion last year). The coaches will no doubt redouble their efforts to impress upon Jackson the importance of sliding rather than taking a hit.
Jackson put up good numbers again before hurting himself: 7/11, 82 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. T-Jack is now 15/22 for 200 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs in just about a full half of football this preseason. Yeah, okay – it’s against vanilla defenses. Still there is encouragement to be derived from these performances. The same can’t necessarily be said for the run defense which allowed Baltimore’s Ray Rice to rack up 77 yards on only 8 carries. Pat Williams was back in there for the Purple but even his presence didn’t seem to make much difference. Brad Childress is concerned about the slow starts the defense has gotten off to the last two games, saying:
Maybe the defense can start a little bit faster. We’ll adjust that.
On the good side: Jared Allen racked up two sacks, and should’ve had a third according to Judd Zulgad (he just missed bringing down Troy Smith). The Vikes racked up five sacks as a team after going sackless in the Seattle game. If the pass defense makes a marked improvement, it will balance off a decline in the run defense. On the John David Booty front: The former USC QB was 1/3 for 9 yards and a pick and was sacked twice. There were people who wanted this guy to compete with Jackson for the starting job, but he’s getting ripped up by third-team defenses. Booty is a loooong way from being an NFL quarterback. It’s probably too early to judge, but it’s beginning to look like the Vikes would’ve been better off taking Colt Brennan.
- Adrian Peterson ran the ball 8 times for 30 yards after going without a carry in preseason Game 1.
- Martin Nance moved a step closer to securing a roster spot by catching 3 balls for 74 yards and 1 TD.
- The Heath Farwell injury opened up an opportunity for E.J. Henderson‘s brother Erin to make the squad. Erin made the case for himself by recording 9 tackles, 8 of the solo variety, against Baltimore.
- Bernard Berrian missed the game with a sore toe.
- Chris Kluwe had an attack of Romo’s Disease, failing to handle a snap on a field goal.
- Pat Williams suffered a bruised knee but did not leave the game. Big Pat now has a bum situation in half his limbs.
- There are no more family weddings planned in the coming weeks so I should be able to watch the remaining two dreary preseason contests and report on them propery.