Black and Blue all over: Pressure in Indy
INDIANAPOLIS -- As you might realize, we initially booked this trip to Gen Con, er Indy, because it figured to be the preseason debut of Hewhoshallnotbenamed. We all know how that worked out, but even now I think Minnesota's quarterback position remains very much the story Friday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
As Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune points out, Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels have had an inconsistent summer. And their most recent practice on Wednesday might have been their worst, a significant warning sign.
As preseason games go, there's some pressure on both quarterbacks to play well -- especially considering Indianapolis will be without its entire first-team secondary for the game. Check out Mike Chappell's blog at the Indianapolis Star for those details.
We don't yet know whether Jackson or Rosenfels will start (competitive reasons, no doubt.) But the Colts' injury list means that the Vikings' starter will be working against the Colts' No. 2 secondary. And whoever comes in after that will probably face members of the Colts' third-team secondary. For a player looking to win a starting job, those are matchups that should be won.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- Friday will also mark the debut of new Vikings right tackle Phil Loadholt and possibly center John Sullivan, who has had an ankle injury, writes Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
- Detroit coach Jim Schwartz is likely to announce Friday whether Matthew Stafford or Daunte Culpepper will start Saturday against Atlanta, according to Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press.
- Lions tailback Kevin Smith dropped his weight from 218 pounds to 210 pounds in preparation for this season, writes John Niyo of the Detroit News.
- Watch out, Jeremy Kapinos and Durant Brooks: Green Bay worked out four free-agent punters Wednesday, according to Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
- Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that Packers coach Mike McCarthy has typically changed the alignment of his offensive line after the first preseason game. McCarthy has pledged this year to keep players in the same position as much as he can.
- Chicago safety Danieal Manning's sore hamstring has opened the door for rookie Al Afalava, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Corey Graham is likely to work as the Bears' nickelback in the preseason opener at Buffalo, writes Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago.