Anthony Herrera, about to see his first action in more than nine months after knee surgery, will enter Saturday's preseason game against Dallas with a brace on his left knee and a chip on his shoulder.
Both could serve their purpose.
This was the impression gleaned from Herrera's brief, terse meeting with reporters after Thursday's practice -- his first interview of training camp.
"Yes, he has something to prove," said coach Leslie Frazier of the team's starting right guard from 2007 through Nov. 21 of last season, when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. "He wants to prove something to everybody, including us as coaches, whether or not he can do it or not."
Herrera? He said he was excited for the opportunity. Asked about the knee he said, "It feels great."
Was he concerned he wouldn't be back in time for the regular season?
"I don't have any concerns," he said. "You guys where the ones that were out there speculating or whatever. I had no concerns. Neither did the coaches or the training staff."
Still, Frazier said there were things he would be watching for from Herrera, who started practicing last week. Frazier admitted he wasn't sure how ready Herrera was to start in a regular season game and that he needed to see how the veteran does Saturday.
"He hasn't lined up in such a long time," Frazier said. "I see there's some things that have to come as he gets more experienced. He's wearing a brace right now, so he has to get comfortable doing that again. Just being able to get that explosion back, that's the one thing that takes a little bit longer when you're coming off an ACL surgery."
Webb at No. 2
Frazier said Joe Webb will be the No. 2 quarterback against the Cowboys. With Donovan McNabb expected to play into the third quarter, that means Webb probably will finish the third quarter and possibly start the fourth quarter before rookie first-round draft pick Christian Ponder makes his Metrodome debut.
Frazier also is considering resting McNabb in the preseason finale next Thursday. Webb or Ponder would get the start in what would be the final battle in their tight competition for the No. 2 job.
Webb ran some Wildcat formations in Thursday's practice. Asked if Webb could do that in the regular season if he were the No. 2 quarterback, Frazier said, "Sure can. It's not the most ideal. If he becomes our clear-cut No. 2, then you may not want to risk it as much. But we'll see."
While his predecessor, Brad Childress, wasn't a fan of the Wildcat formation, Frazier is excited to see Webb run it.
"It's perfectly made for Joe," Frazier said. "He's such an all-around athlete and multi-dimensional guy."
Players who will sit out Saturday's game are running back Toby Gerhart (ankle, Achilles' tendon), cornerback Asher Allen (toe), linebackers Jasper Brinkley (hip flexor), Ross Homan (concussion), Mark Washington (shoulder) and Heath Farwell (hamstring), tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring) and defensive tackle Kevin Williams (foot). Gerhart tried to participate in Thursday's non-padded practice, but stopped after running a few pass routes. Farwell aggravated his hamstring injury Wednesday and wasn't on the field Thursday.
• Adrian Peterson was asked by a Dallas radio station if he thought Brett Favre would come back this season, and joked, "You never know with Favre, man. He likes to pop up midseason."
• Chad Greenway said his agent and the Vikings continue to talk about a new contract and the linebacker hopes to know one way or the other about a possible deal by the Sept. 11 season opener.
• The Vikings have promoted Jeff Anderson from assistant director of public affairs to director of corporate communications. Anderson joined the team as a public relations intern in 2003.