Childress Statement On Harvin

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 19, 2010 – 4:10 pm

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress has issued a statement to regarding WR Percy Harvin.

“Percy appreciates everyone’s concern. He is alert and resting comfortably, but will remain in the hospital overnight.”

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E.J.’s Status For Sunday Night Still Unknown

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 19, 2010 – 3:56 pm

All indications are that LB E.J. Henderson’s comeback from last season’s leg injury has gone well. Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress has commented more than once that Henderson was aggressive in his rehab and assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier has seemed optimistic about his starting MLB.

But even with the positivity and optimism regarding Henderson’s rehab and comeback, the veteran didn’t play in last weekend’s preseason game. While last weekend was likely a precautionary move, Henderson can take the next step in his recovery by suiting up this preseason. The decision on whether or not that happens has not yet been made, according to assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.

“We don’t know,” Frazier said on Thursday when asked if Henderson will play on Sunday. “We are still practicing and seeing how he progresses every day and every play, and we will talk about it again tomorrow after practice.”

Here are a few more thoughts from Frazier’s Thursday press conference…

On how Erin Henderson looked playing middle LB last weekend: “He has done a good job in practice and we were wondering how he would do under the lights and he did a great job. We were all pleasantly surprised and pleased that he played as well as he did. He was thrust into that role with the injuries that we had with J Leman, and of course with E.J.’s situation and he did well, he did really well.”

On Percy Harvin experiencing a migraine episode during practice and being taken away by ambulance: “Everybody came together afterwards and prayed for Percy and just hoped for the best. But it definitely shakes you up, as a player and a coach…I have been in some situations where the ambulance had to come on the field and it’s never a good sight. We just hope for the best.”

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Frazier Pleased With Depth On Defense

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 19, 2010 – 3:43 pm

Assuming both CB Cedric Griffin and LB E.J. Henderson make it back to the starting lineup (things are looking that way at this point), the Vikings will return all 11 starters from last year’s defense. With that being the case, the team entered the 2010 season in good position to fortify its depth behind experienced starters.

And so far, according to assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, the team has taken advantage of that good position.

“Yeah, this is the best depth we have had on defense so far,” Frazier said on Thursday after practice. “Now it is just a matter of staying healthy and playing together. But by far this is the best depth we have had. Although, we are missing Cedric Griffin [and] we are not certain about E.J. Henderson. But we do have some quality guys at some certain positions as back-ups.”

Last year the Vikings defense led the NFL in sacks with 48, finished #2 against the run and ranked #6 overall. With all starters returning and depth improving across the board, the Vikings defense will look to build upon and improve those numbers in 2010.

Frazier declined to be specific when asked what areas of his defense he’d like to see improve.

“I want us to improve in all categories,” Frazier said. “Because I really believe that if we took another step as a unit it would help us get another step closer to a championship. Let’s just get better all the way across the board and then we will look back at the end of the year and just see if that indeed helped us take that next step as a team, which will help our defense as well.”

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Childress Addresses Harvin Situation

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 19, 2010 – 12:22 pm

During practice late Thursday morning Vikings WR Percy Harvin experienced an apparent migraine episode, forcing the team to suspend the workout momentarily. Harvin was being attended to by the Vikings medical staff and eventually an ambulance arrived to take him to a local hospital.

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress gathered his team and then the squad executed one more period before ending the workout.

After practice, both Head Coach Brad Childress and Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier addressed the issue, and you can view both of those press conferences by clicking the links below.

Childress Presser – 8/19

Frazier Presser – 8/19

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Who Will Step Up To Round Out WR Depth?

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 19, 2010 – 8:20 am

With all of the hoopla surrounding QB Brett Favre and his decision to return for another season in 2010, it’s easy to forget there is actually a training camp and preseason going on at Winter Park. And with training camp and preseason come position battles.

There are several position battles still on-going for the Vikings, and that will continue to be the case for the next couple weeks. Of course the highest-profile position battle will be for the backup QB job, which Tarvaris Jackson is currently leading. But another one that also got a bit more interesting over the last couple of days is WR.

The Vikings have a healthy crop of young receivers battling to round out the position. That group included 3rd-year player Jaymar Johnson, who had a good training camp and then registered 2 receptions for 38 yards against the St. Louis Rams last weekend in the team’s 1st preseason game. But Johnson also suffered an injury in that game and has been waived by the club.

It’s an unfortunate development for Johnson and the Vikings, but it also opens an opportunity for those who were battling with Johnson for a roster spot. One player to keep an eye on in this regard is former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher Logan Payne, who was acquired by the Vikings this past offseason and also had a nice training camp.

Payne showed up in a big way against the Rams, hauling in 7 receptions for 52 yards, including a 2-yard TD from Sage Rosenfels in the 2nd quarter.

“He is a good, smart football player,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said of Payne on Monday. “He is a tough guy, did well in special teams (against St. Louis), he ran down and made a couple special team tackles. He is versed in this system, he played multiple positions and he was productive. He has been making the most of all of the reps that he has gotten.”

Payne isn’t the only WR who has a chance to step up. The Vikings have a host of others in the fold, including Marko Mitchell (72-yard TD reception against the Rams) and Ray Small (3 receptions for 31 yards against the Rams). Another factor to keep in mind in handicapping this position battle is the return game. While Payne can increase his stock by covering kicks, a guy like Small can increase his chances by standing out as a kickoff or punt returner. Johnson had 2 punt returns and 1 kickoff return against the Rams, so someone else on the WR depth chart might be able to assume those responsibilities.

With all of that said, the Vikings could also look to add another young receiver or veteran receiver to the mix as well. There are several more chapters left to unfold before the Vikings make any decisions on this position battle, and the next one will happen on Sunday night when the Purple takes the field against the San Francisco 49ers.

Let us know in the comments section below which of the Vikings receivers you’d like to see step up and earn a roster spot.

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