Cook, Griffin Game Time Decision; Harvin Practices

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 17, 2010 – 1:08 pm

The Vikings and Dolphins have issued their Friday injury reports in advance of Sunday’s game at Mall of America Field and there is good news to report. After missing practice on Thursday, WR Percy Harvin (hip) was back at practice and participated on a limited basis; he is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

DT Jimmy Kennedy (knee) and CBs Chris Cook (knee) and Cedric Griffin (knee) are also listed as questionable. Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said Cook and Griffin would likely be game-time decisions. QB Brett Favre (ankle/back), RB Toby Gerhart (knee), T  Bryant McKinnie (finger) and C John Sullivan (calf) are listed as probable.

For the Dolphins, LB Channing Crowder (groin) and DE  Jared Odrick (ankle) have been ruled out and DE Ikaika Alama-Francis is listed as questionable.

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Vikings-Dolphins Will Have An “Old-School” Feel On Sunday

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 17, 2010 – 11:38 am

We are nearly a decade into the 21st century but fans who attend this weekend’s home opener at Mall of America Field against the Dolphins will experience an “old-school” football feeling, the kind of feeling that football fans relish. It’s not just any regular home opener for the Vikings…it’s the home opener of the Vikings 50th season in franchise history.

The Vikings fan base is one that appreciates history and tradition, so the 50th season will be a special one for football in Minnesota. And the home slate of games for the 50th season will be kicked off in proper fashion, with the Vikings sporting their classic throwback uniforms. Fans love the throwback uniforms and my sense is that many of the Vikings players enjoy wearing the classic jerseys as well.

Adding to the throwback feel for Sunday will be the identity of the person who will sound the Gjallarhorn to signal the beginning of the game. It’ll be former Vikings WR Gene Washington, who played in Minnesota from 1967-1972 during the “classic” era of Vikings football.

On top of all that, Vikings fans can expect the actual game itself to have an old-school feel to it. The Vikings enter with a vaunted run defense and the game’s best RB in Adrian Peterson, while the Dolphins come in with a pair of talented backs in Ronnie Brown and Rickey Williams and a head coach who is a former OL coach and takes pride in moving the line of scrimmage.

“It’s going to be like an old-school football game,” DE Jared Allen explained. “I’m excited for this game because in a league where it’s turned into a shotgun, throw the ball 75 times (game), this is an old-school ‘We’re going to line our big guys up against your big guys kind of nine-on-seven drill. And we’re going to run it down your throat.’ And we like that because we say ‘We’re going to stop you from running and we’re going to smash the ball down your throat.’ It’s going to be fun.

“It’s going to be hard-hitting. It’s going to be one of those games where you’re sitting at home the next day like ‘Holy crap, I think I got in a car accident.’ But that’s why we play the sport.”

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Miami’s Marshall Plan

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 17, 2010 – 7:29 am

Throughout his 5-year NFL career, WR Brandon Marshall has developed into an elite WR capable of changing games and deserving of special attention from opposing defenses. His ability to dominate the competition manifests itself in his imposing size (6-4, 230 pound) and far above-average speed.

The Miami Dolphins, perceived as a run-happy offense, stepped out of the box a bit this past offseason to acquire Marshall in a move designed to bolster the aerial attack, which is led by 2nd-year starter Chad Henne. But there’s a funny thing about the Dolphins acquisition of Marshall; it might actually aide Miami’s run game as much as it improves the passing attack.

“Yeah, he will probably open up the run game even more,” Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said on Thursday. “It’s hard to play a lot of single coverage now with Brandon Marshall out there. He is a prolific receiver, well accomplished and he’s been to some Pro Bowls so you have to pay attention to him. It will be a challenge for our corners and we’ll have to rise to the occasion. He’s an outstanding receiver and he’ll probably help their run game.

Injuries to Chris Cook and Cedric Griffin along with a trade that sent Benny Sapp to Miami have left the Vikings a bit thin at CB in the early part of the 2010 season. But the Vikings secondary, including 2nd-year CB Asher Allen and 9-year veteran Lito Sheppard, stepped up to play well against the New Orleans Saints pass-happy attack last weekend. Based on the fact that Frazier’s defense held Drew Brees and Co. in check fairly well, it’s reasonable to think Allen, Sheppard and Winfield can do the same to Miami’s air attack.

With all of that said, Sunday’s contest between the Vikings and Dolphins will still come down to the ground game. Click here to read about how and why Sunday’s game will serve as a barometer for Frazier and his defense…

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