Notebook: LB Brinkley sidelined again

Jasper Brinkley (Scott Boehm/Getty)

Middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley, who missed last season with a hip injury, was back on the sideline with some lingering effects from the hip surgery. Plus, the quarterbacks had an erratic first day of minicamp and other notes.

Jasper Brinkley is back on the sidelines, but it may not be for long.

Brinkley, who sat out the entire 2011 season after suffering a preseason hip injury, returned to practice for the first couple weeks of OTAs, but after getting tangled up with another player while breaking up a pass two weeks ago, the final week of OTAs was spent watching with a groin injury.

On Tuesday, Brinkley remained on the sidelines, only this time he said it was an issue his hip, not the groin.

"Just a process with the hip, still keep going so hopefully I'll be out at practice one day before (minicamp is over)," Brinkley said.

"This goes back to the hip. Other than that, though, everything is good."

Brinkley is being counted on as the Vikings' new starting middle linebacker after the team decided not to re-sign nine-year veteran E.J. Henderson, who remains a free agent. Brinkley started the final four games of the regular season and two playoff games for the Vikings in 2009 after Henderson fractured his femur.

His experience there and getting in some work in the earlier OTAs has Brinkley feeling like the coaches know what he can do, even if he isn't on the field during minicamp.

"The first couple of OTAs, I was able to do a little bit. I was able to show what I could do," Brinkley said. "I'm pretty sure if the coaches weren't satisfied they would bring somebody else in. It's still a work in progress."

Brinkley called his absence on the field "precautionary" and said it definitely wouldn't have kept him sidelined if it were the regular season.


The play of the day was a bullet from Christian Ponder to tight end John Carlson, a pass that was threaded between two linebackers who were left on the ground while Carlson ran into the end zone and dunked the ball over the goalposts.

But it wasn't all gravy for Ponder and the quarterbacks. Whether it was a miscommunication on the route or just a poorly thrown pass, Ponder had an off-target pass intended for Jerome Simpson intercepted by Antoine Winfield while backup Joe Webb had a weak, wobbly pass over the middle of the field intercepted by safety Andrew Sendejo.

Ponder and Webb each took at least one touch sack during full-team drills, as well.

Backup defensive end D'Aundre Reed got to Webb and Nick Reed got to Ponder.


  • Kicker Blair Walsh missed a 35-yard field goal at the end of a drive was intended to simulate a game situation.

  • With Percy Harvin participating in some, but not all, portions of practice, rookie Jarius Wright was getting some reps with the first-team offense.

  • The Vikings mixed up their rotation of safeties with the first-team defense, with Harrison Smith, Jamarca Sanford and Mistral Raymond all getting looks there. Smith and Raymond got the first rep with the full-team defense.

  • With Brinkley out of action, Tyrone McKenzie took over his duties at middle linebacker with the first-team defense.

    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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