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.


Frazier: Favre a game-day decision

Posted by: under Injury report, Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Bernard Berrian, Brett Favre, Chris Kluwe, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin, Ray Edwards, Sidney Rice, Steve Hutchinson, Tarvaris Jackson, Tyrell Johnson, Vikings quarterbacks Updated: December 10, 2010 - 2:54 PM

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said quarterback Brett Favre was able to do limited work in practice Friday and that "gives us some hope about the possibility [of him playing] Sunday," when the Vikings will play host to the New York Giants.

Favre suffered a sprained right shoulder last Sunday against Buffalo -- officially he injured the sternoclavicular joint --and Friday marked the first time he has thrown a pass since leaving that game after only three plays. "We'll see how he progresses and will probably make a decision just prior to game time on Sunday," Frazier said. "He was able to get out and do some things. It was good for our players to be able to see."

Favre is listed as questionable on the injury report for the third time this season. He has been listed as probable all other weeks.

Frazier said Favre did not throw any deep passes but the coaching staff and athletic trainers just wanted to see him be able to go through the motion of throwing. Favre's pain is coming not when he puts his arm back to pass but rather when he comes forward.

"The fact that he felt comfortable at least releasing the football," was important, Frazier said. "We just wanted him to do some soft tossing and just get a feel for the motion. That was his concern. Being able to get through that final motion without a great deal of pain. In his mind that's going to determine whether or not he's going to end up playing on Sunday or not."

Frazier acknowledged Favre had some pain Friday but said it was to "a lesser degree than we anticipated so that was encouraging.”
 
"The good thing is we’ve got 48 hours to kind of see some things progress, and he’s already gotten a little bit further along than he was on Monday," Frazier said ."So, we hope that he’ll be a little bit further along come Sunday morning. But we would have to see him make some of the throws he’d have to make in the game, and he understands that. So, we’ll take a look on Sunday morning and see."
 
Tarvaris Jackson, who would start in Favre's place if he can't go, admits he would be surprised if Favre isn't under center. "I didn't think he was going to play the last time he got an injury [in October] but he ended up coming out and playing pretty well before he got hurt," Jackson said. "He's been banged up a lot this year and last year so you know he's probably going to try to give it a push Sunday morning."
 
Harvin doubtful
 
Wide receiver Percy Harvin wasn't at Winter Park again Friday and is listed as doubtful for Sunday because of a migraine headache that came on a week ago Wednesday. Harvin, who did not play last weekend against Buffalo, hasn't taken part in a full practice since Nov. 26, two days before the Vikings played at Washington.
 
Frazier said he talked to Harvin on Thursday and that the two would talk again Friday. "It’s going to be very, very difficult to get him up to speed," Frazier said. "But we’ll see."
 
Asked about Harvin's latest battle with the headaches, Frazier said: "Reoccurring is probably a good word, because he’s had migraines before, and when he has those episodes, you don’t always know how long they’re going to last or the severity of those migraines, and everyone is somewhat different but still somewhat the same. But nobody can deal with it other than the person who’s having those migraines. In my case, I end up going by what the doctors tell me and also when I communicate with Percy, what he tells me. Right now, no football for right now."
 
Chris Cook, Tyrell Johnson out
 
Cornerback Chris Cook and safety Tyrell Johnson already have been declared out for Sunday's game. Both are suffering from knee injures. Cook, whom the Vikings took with their top draft pick (second round) last April, will miss his third consecutive game as he battles swelling in his left knee.
 
Cook has had arthroscopic surgery to repair meniscus tears in both his knees this season and Frazier admitted the rookie could be shut down for the remaining three games if the swelling doesn't go down.
 
"We’re discussing a lot of things with Chris and that is one part of the discussion," Frazier said. "He is a rookie. He ‘s a guy we think has a great future with our football team. We’re going through some different scenarios and trying to do what’s best for him and the team as well.”

Hutchinson a game-time decision

Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson did not practice for a second consecutive day Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game because of a broken right thumb that held him out last weekend.

Frazier said the availability of Hutchinson and defensive end Ray Edwards (high right ankle sprain) probably won't be decided until Sunday.

Frazier said of Hutchinson: "There are a couple of things you’ve got to deal with. Both the physical part of it, but also the mental part that he has to work through just being able to feel comfortable in using that hand. He’s getting more comfortable with it, the times that he spent with our trainers and with our players has given him a little bit more confidence. But there’s nothing like playing in a game so we’ll discuss that again on Sunday as well.”

Quarterback Joe Webb also is listed as questionable but is confident he has made enough progress in his return from a hamstring injury that he could play Sunday. Webb likely would only be used as a quarterback.

Listed as probable for the Vikings are running backs Toby Gerhart (hamstring) and Adrian Peterson (ankle); wide receviers Sidney Rice (hip), Bernard Berrian (groin) and Greg Lewis (concussion); and safety Jamarca Sanford (hamstring). 

Giants' Nicks and Smith questionable

New York Giants wide receivers Hakeem Nicks (leg) and Steve Smith (pectoral) are both listed as questionable for the Giants and expected to play against the Vikings. Center Shaun O'Hara (foot) is doubtful and tackle Shawn Andrews (back) is out.

Two Bills fined

Buffalo's Andy Levitre and Quinton Gather were fined $7,500 and 5,000, respectively, for unnecessary roughness in the Bills' loss to the Vikings last Sunday.

Levitre was called for unnecessary roughness for shoving a Vikings player in the third quarter, and Gather was called for unnecessary roughness for hitting Vikings punter Chris Kluwe at the end of a return in the same quarter.

 

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