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Monday, August 27, 2012
BBAO: John Carlson returns to practice

By Kevin Seifert

We're Black and Blue All Over:

The Minnesota Vikings got a welcome sight during Sunday's practice: Tight end John Carlson participated for the first time since spraining his knee July 31. The return gives Carlson what the Vikings consider a decent chance to be ready for the Sept. 9 season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Carlson and many other veterans will sit out Thursday night's preseason finale at the Houston Texans, coach Leslie Frazier said: "We think if he can just keep making progress throughout this week, he should be fine when we get ready for game week."

The Vikings never got a chance to see a preseason preview of the two-tight end offense they have envisioned with Carlson and second-year player Kyle Rudolph. But his return will help mitigate the three-game suspension facing receiver Jerome Simpson at the start of the season.

Continuing around the NFC North on the day that teams must reduce rosters to 75 players: