Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Freeman: Concussion symptoms surfaced after game

Posted by: Chip Scoggins under Vikings offense, Vikings players, Vikings quarterbacks Updated: October 25, 2013 - 4:17 PM

Josh Freeman was able to do some work in practice on Friday after clearing the NFL protocol tests, but he will be inactive for Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.

Freeman is expected to return to practice fully next week, but it's unclear if he will remain the starter, or Christian Ponder.

"The entire organization’s focus is on Sunday night," he said. "It’s going up against the Packers and finding a way to get a win. My role for the game, I’ve got to any way I can help Christian out there. He had an excellent week of practice. He’s dropping dimes left and right. I know everybody is excited about moving forward.”

Freeman said he's not sure on which play he suffered his concussion in the third quarter of a 23-7 loss to the New York Giants. He said he didn't experience any symptoms until Tuesday morning.

"I just learned this talking to the doctors, but oftentimes with concussions they don’t really start showing noticeable symptoms until hours later," he said. "That was the case on Monday night and really Tuesday morning is when I got the full onslaught of symptoms. In the game, when you're focused and locked in on your job, oftentimes the man concussed is the last to really truly notice anything is off. It’s something that is definitely going to heighten my awareness toward it.”

Freeman said this is the first concussion he's suffered in his five-year NFL career. Former NFL player and current NBC analyst Rodney Harrison reportedly made comments that raised speculation that Freeman might not have suffered a concussion.

According to ProFootballTalk, Harrison, in a radio interview said: "I can’t say that I believe he has a concussion. I can’t say that I’m 100 percent sold on it. I’m not trying to doubt the seriousness of his injury if he has one, but it just seems like a convenient excuse to get out of a situation. That’s what it seems like. Because maybe he’s looking around [and] saying, ‘You know what, maybe Greg Jennings is not as good as I thought. Maybe this wide receiving corps [isn't as good as I thought]. Adrian Peterson is struggling. Heck, I just want out of this situation. I can’t wait for this season to end.’”

Freeman said he had not heard about Harrison's comments.

"As a competitor, the last thing you want to do is have a situation where you’re sitting out the following week due to being on the sideline most of the week in practice," he said. "So my feeling toward that is all I can do is live my truth. I didn’t hear any comments. I really don’t pay a lot of attention to what’s going on in the outside world. I’m just focused on what I can do to be the best quarterback I can be for this team regardless of my role on Sundays.’’

Freeman's debut was a mess. He completed only 20 of 53 passes for 190 yards with one interception. He had 15 overthrows and looked lost after having only four practices with the first-team offense.

He was asked if, in hindsight, he felt he played too soon.

"There’s a lot of different things that go into that," he said. "Looking back, maybe I was a little too fired up at first. There’s definitely a lot of correctible things, things that going into the game I would’ve banked on me being able to complete or get done on the field. But at the same time we weren’t able to do so, so I’m moving forward and just got to find a way to be better prepared.”

Injury report

The Vikings declared Freeman, Rhett Ellison, Matt Asiata and Rodney Smith out.

Defensive tackle Fred Evans (knee) and safety Jamarca Sanford (ankle) are questionable.

For the Packers, Jermichael Finley, Clay Matthews and Ryan Taylor are out. Wide receiver James Jones is doubtful.

Linebackers Brad Jones and Nick Perry are questionable.

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