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.


Jackson expressed confidence if he gets start

Posted by: under Off the field, Quarterbacks, Vikings, Brad Childress, Vikings players, Brad Childress, Brett Favre, Kevin Williams, Tarvaris Jackson, Visanthe Shiancoe Updated: October 25, 2010 - 4:30 PM

Vikings coach Brad Childress refused to rule Brett Favre out of Sunday's game against New England despite news that the 41-year-old quarterback has two small fractures in his left ankle.

All-Pro defensive tackle Kevin Williams isn't counting out Favre either.

"We'll see how the week goes," Williams said. "I'm not going to rule him out. If he's out, somebody has to step up. But unless they cut his leg off it's going to be hard to keep him off the field. That's the type of guy he is and what he's shown throughout his career."

Several of Favre's teammates said they weren't aware of the extent of his injury, but they also expressed confidence in Tarvaris Jackson if he's thrust into the starting role. Jackson is 10-9 in 19 career regular-season starts.

"It's the best I've ever felt," Jackson said. "Hopefully, it translates to the field but it's the best I've ever felt since I've been in the league."

Asked why he feels that way considering he's been a backup the past two seasons, Jackson said it's his confidence.

"I think that's the main point, the confidence," he said. "I honestly can say I knew what I was doing, but I wasn't very confident just by all the external factors and listening to too much stuff instead of just going and playing football. Now I'm playing football. I haven't played in a game, just practice. But I feel great."

Unlike many backup quarterbacks, Jackson has taken a fair amount of reps in practice the past few weeks because of Favre's elbow and ankle injuries.

"I have confidence in him," tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said. "He's got time to calm down and the whirlwind has calmed down for him. He's growing, he's maturing. I have confidence in him, 100 percent, if he has to be the starter."

Said Jackson: "I feel like I have the confidence of these guys. Obviously I've started here before. It wasn't the best but we won some football games when I started and I'm very confident we can still go out there and win some games."

Shiancoe disappointed

Shiancoe learned Monday morning about the league's admission that his touchdown catch should not have been overturned. Shiancoe said he was shocked when the referee overturned the call on replay.

"You never know how the game would have turned out after that," he said. "That's four points and we did lose by four points. But there's nothing I can do about it now. They're human beings too. Everybody makes mistakes. But sometimes it can be costly."

Like Childress, Shiancoe was disappointed that they overturned a correct call on the field.

"You would think that overturning it had to be indisputable evidence," he said. "That's what I was thinking about. I was stunned. It was like, 'What's going on here?'"

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