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.


Vikings Loadholt fined $10,000

Posted by: under Vikings, Brad Childress, Darrell Bevell, Vikings players, Bernard Berrian, Brad Childress, Brett Favre, Bryant McKinnie, Cedric Griffin, Darrell Bevell, John Sullivan, Percy Harvin, Phil Loadholt Updated: September 17, 2010 - 3:40 PM

Offensive tackle Phil Loadholt was fined $10,000 by the NFL this week for two unnecessary roughness violations he committed in the Vikings' season-opening loss on Sept. 9 at New Orleans.

Loadholt was called for a facemask penalty in the second quarter on the same play that Saints linebacker Marvin Mitchell was called for a facemask. The penalties were offsetting but not seen as equal because Mitchell was not fined.

In the fourth quarter, Loadholt also grabbed the facemask of an opponent in an attempt to block him on a pass play. While Loadholt was called for a hold in the final quarter, that facemask penalty was not called. Loadholt had replaced Bryant McKinnie at left tackle in the fourth quarter after McKinnie dislocated his finger.

No comment on Jackson

The Vikings and Washington Redskins are believed to be the favorites to pursue San Diego holdout wide receiver Vincent Jackson, but coach Brad Childress declined to comment on if the Vikings have interest in him. The NFL ruled Thursday that there was a moratorium on trading Jackson that would end at 3 p.m. Friday.

"He's really not a guy I'm able to speak about for the fact that he's their property," Childress said. "I wouldn't get into any speculation on anybody on anybody else's roster."

Childress also would not say if the Vikings had requested permission from the Chargers to speak with Jackson's representatives about a possible agreement.

Harvin expects to play

Wide receiver Percy Harvin returned to practice after missing one day because of a hip bruise. Harvin was listed officially as questionable, but he gave a wry smile when informed that Childress said he would be a game-time decision. “He is the coach,” Harvin said, smiling. “I feel fine. I guess we’ll see pregame then.”

Harvin said his hip felt a little tight in practice Friday, but he said it’s nothing serious. He said he first felt discomfort Monday during a 10-10-10 practice and it became a little worse on Wednesday. Childress gave him Thursday off so he could spend all day getting treatment.

“A lot of sprinters just know when you’re fixing to get that pull you ease up a little bit,” he said. “It was just one of them. Coach just wanted to take yesterday as a precaution, but I feel fine.”
 
Also listed as questionable for the Vikings are cornerbacks Chris Cook (knee) and Cedric Griffin (knee) and defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy (knee). All were limited in practice Friday. Left tackle Bryant McKinnie (dislocated finger) was able to take part in all of Friday's practice and is listed as probable. Childress said that McKinnie will play with a glove on his injured hand.
 
As for Cook and Griffin, Childress said they will be game-time decisions after the athletic training staff sees how they move around on Sunday morning. Otherwise, the Vikings will have three cornerbacks on their 45-man game day roster for the second consecutive week.
 
Quarterback Brett Favre (ankle/back), running back Toby Gerhart (knee) and center John Sullivan (calf) also participated in all of Friday's practice and are probable.
 
For the Dolphins, defensive end Jared Odrick (leg) and linebacker Channing Crowder (groin) are out. Defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis (illness) is probable.
 
No pitch count for Favre
 
Last season, the Vikings put Brett Favre on a practice pitch count after he had surgery to repair a partially torn biceps in his throwing arm. This year, Childress said the Vikings aren't tracking Favre's throws.
 
[We're] not worried about it," Childress said. "[Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell] had done it before with him at Green Bay and it seemed like the prudent thing to do but he's probably at a high of 40-45 throws in a day which is not too much."
 
Etc.
  • Childress said that Bernard Berrian and Greg Camarillo could both be used on punt returns Sunday, "just depending on how the game plays out." Camarillo said he has been a backup punt returner for much of his time in football but has little experience actually doing the job. Camarillo, traded to the Vikings from Miami in the preseason, said he often caught punts from the Dolphins' Brandon Fields.
  • Although a few NFL teams have voted on whether to decertify their union, the Vikings have taken no such vote so far and likely won't do so before a visit from a member of the NFLPA happens in the coming weeks.
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