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.


Favre 'doutbful' to play in regular-season finale

Posted by: under Injury report, Vikings, Lions, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Brett Favre, Leslie Frazier, Sidney Rice Updated: December 31, 2010 - 3:58 PM

Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier said Friday he will list quarterback Brett Favre as doubtful for Sunday's regular-season finale at Detroit. That means the quarterback's 20-year career likely will end with him on the sideline.

Frazier, for the first time, would not say if Favre had taken the baseline neurological exam again. "I'm just going to leave it as doubtful for now [that he will play] without going into any detail about it," Frazier said.

Asked the Vikings still intended to take the decision up to Saturday to see if Favre could past the first stage of the test," Frazier said: "That would be assuming that he hasn't done it already and hasn't passed it. But if we leave doubtful, it should cover things with him. You never rule him out."

Frazier was referring to the fact that he ruled Favre out of the Vikings' loss to Chicago on Dec. 20 because of an injury to his throwing shoulder. Favre woke up that morning and informed the team he could play. This is a different situation because Favre is suffering from a concussion and must pass a battery of tests before he is allowed to participate.

Rookie Joe Webb will make his second start in a row if Favre is unable to play.

In other injury news:

  • Frazier said wide receiver Sidney Rice and linebacker Erin Henderson, both suffering from concussions, "probably aren't going to make it" in terms of being ready for Sunday. Rice is listed as doubtful and Henderson is questionable. Rice said he failed his first attempt at the concussion test but might take it again Friday.
  • Safety Madieu Williams (concussion) will be placed on injured reserve and former Gophers cornerback Marcus Sherels will be elevated from the practice squad. That move is important because cornerback Asher Allen is suffering from an abdominal injury and he will be listed as questionable.
  • Allen and fullback Naufahu Tahi (ankle) are questionable. Running back Adrian Peterson (knee) is listed as probable.

Frazier's future

Frazier said he has yet to set up a specific time to talk to owner Zygi Wilf next week about the Vikings coaching job, but reiterated that "we are going to get together next week and try to find out where things are."

Frazier said the quick week -- with the Vikings playing on Tuesday and again on Sunday -- has kept his focus on the upcoming game and not as much on his coaching future.

"Because things have been going on so different this week, I kind of removed [the coaching job] from my mind, just to wrap it around this Detroit game," he said. "It's an important for us. I just know that other things will take care of themselves after this Detroit game."

Webb fined

Webb was fined $5,000 for a facemask penalty he received in the third quarter while scrambling on Tuesday. Webb said he plans to appeal the fine.

Meanwhile, Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel was not fined despite a helmet-to-helmet hit on Rice that caused the wide receiver's concussion.

“It really doesn’t bother me," Rice said when asked about the hit. "It’s football. It was helmet-to-helmet but it’s part of the game. You put it out there on the line, every week you go out there and you play for your teammates and you try to do what’s right. So, I don’t know if it was intentional or what his thought process was, but it’s football.”

Is this it?

Depending on what happens with the new collective bargaining agreement, Rice could be a free agent after this season. That means that Sunday potentially could be his last game with the franchise.

Rice, though, said that thought hasn't entered his mind. "Not really," he said. "I'm just trying to wait until the offseason to even process any of that. I know I have a commitment to this team right now and I'm a Minnesota Viking at this time and that's all that matters. Whatever happens after Sunday I have no idea what it's going to be. I'm just going to be sitting back listening to the feedback from my agent and the guys here."

Keeping his focus

Peterson's contract will void after the 2011 season and it's no secret that he would like a new deal. But the Pro Bowl running back did not want to get into that when asked on Friday.

"I've just been focusing on this last game against Detroit, everything else will take care of itself," he said.

Asked about how crazy this season has been, Peterson said: "Oh yeah, hands down. I'll be able to write a story about how this season went."

Calvin Johnson listed as questionable

Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson missed his third consecutive day of practice Friday because of an ankle injury and is listed as questionable on the injury report.

Cornerback Chris Houston (shoulder) also did not practice during the week and is listed as doubtful.

Running back Jahvid Best (toe), defensive end Lawrence Jackson (groin) and quarterback Drew Stanton (left shoulder) were limited in Friday's practice but all are listed as probable.

The Lions placed linebacker Landon Johnson (concussion) on injured reserve and signed cornerback Paul Pratt from their practice squad.

 

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