Will he or won't he? That is the question being pondered in regard to Tarvaris Jackson
's availability for Thursday's game with the Dallas Cowboys
– will he play or not?
For his part, Jackson has remained cagey with his responses. After not speaking to the media in the week following his injury to his right medial collateral ligament, Jackson said he isn't sure if he's going to be able to make the start Thursday in the team's final preseason game. He admitted that the first week after the injury, he and the medical staff were being more cautious, but that it's time to get things back to normal, which would entail him being ready for Thursday's matchup.
"I did a little a more today than I've done. We were just being a little cautious in the first week, but it's been a week now so we're just trying to get it going," Jackson said.
Jackson was limited practice, still wearing a knee brace similar to the one worn by Adrian Peterson
last year when he was returning from a ligament sprain. The quarterback participated in 7-on-7 drills Monday and said he isn't experiencing the kind of soreness or swelling associated with putting too much strain on a damaged ligament.
"It's not really sore. It's just the stiffness. I don't have my range of motion right now. Once I get that in the next couple of days, it will be fine," he said.
With the Vikings having just one full practice between now and game time on Thursday, the question of Jackson's return remains purely speculation, but all signs are pointing to the Vikings trying to get some work for Jackson with the first-team offense.
"The preseason games, they matter, but they don't really count as far as the record, so you want to be in those games, but at the same time you want to be ready when it counts," he said.
One of the problems with potentially altering the amount of playing time for Jackson is that, to accommodate him, it would entail keeping the rest of the first-team offense on the field longer than anticipated. If the rest of the first-team offense is willing to play an extra series or two, Jackson could see action. If the plan is to keep the schedule of the starters the same, it will be just as likely Jackson sits out completely.
The Vikings receiver corps got a boost Monday as both Bernard Berrian and Sidney Rice returned to practice Monday. Berrian had been sidelined with a toe injury that has been described as turf toe, while Rice was out with a stomach virus that kept him out of practice all last week.
While two receivers came back to practice, another was forced to remain sidelined. Robert Ferguson didn't practice Monday and had his right leg wrapped after being leg-whipped on a kickoff return during Saturday's game. His status for Thursday's game remains in doubt.
DE Brian Robison returned to practice for the first time since having emergency surgery to remove a varicose vein from his left leg during training camp. The surgery was hastened due to finding a pair of blood clots in the vein that needed to be removed. He is expected to be ready for the regular-season opener.
With Monday's release of LB Derrick Pope, linebacker J. Leman changed his number from 49 to Pope's former number of 55.
Former Viking LB Napoleon Harris has yet to play this preseason for the Chiefs and has only practiced a handful of times since training camp began a month ago. It believed that Harris has lost his starting job.
The rest of the league has until this afternoon to get their rosters down to 75 players. The Vikings beat the curve by releasing Pope, offensive tackles Sean Dumford and Brock Pasteur and WR Daniel Davis Monday. All rosters will need to be trimmed to 53 on Saturday.
Tarvaris Jackson continues to do limited work in practice with a brace on his knee. His status for Thursday's preseason finale remains a question.
The quarterback's status for Thursday's preseason finale remains a question with a sprained knee.