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Saturday night wasn't a great one for the quarterbacks of the NFC North. Minnesota's Tarvaris Jackson bruised his right knee, although the injury does not appear too serious. Chicago's Rex Grossman probably fell back in his competition with Kyle Orton after a rough performance in Seattle, while Aaron Rodgers couldn't move the Green Bay Packers in a 34-6 loss to San Francisco.
I watched most of the Vikings' 23-15 victory at Baltimore, and to me it was one of Jackson's best performances -- preseason or otherwise -- in his three-year career. He was decisive, accurate and looked awfully fast on a 13-yard run that converted a third-and-12 on the Vikings' first drive.
About the only bad decision he made was not to slide at the end of a nine-yard run later in the quarter. Jackson lowered his shoulder on Ravens safety Dawan Landry to gain an extra yard or two. But that delay allowed linebacker Ray Lewis to grab Jackson's leg and bring him down.
Vikings coach Brad Childress termed the injury a contusion and didn't seem overly concerned about it after the game.
The Vikings are under no obligation to be transparent on injuries during the preseason. But I agree with what analyst Mike Mayock said during the Vikings' local broadcast: If the Vikings believed Jackson might have been seriously injured, there's no way they would have let him spend the rest of the game standing on the sidelines. He would have been in the locker room undergoing tests or getting further treatment.
That said, the injury will renew questions about Jackson's fragility and his pain tolerance. In two-plus seasons in the NFL, Jackson has been sidelined by four injuries. One came in 2006, when he tore cartilage in his knee during practice, while the other three came last year: A strained hamstring, a small fracture in his hand and a concussion.
Continuing around the NFC North on an expanded edition of Black and Blue all over: