Berrian Says He'll Play Monday

Bernard Berrian (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)

Bernard Berrian explained his toe injury to the Star Tribune and said he will be available to play on Monday in the regular-season opener at Lambeau Field.

With just days remaining until the start of the regular season, the Vikings are expecting Bernard Berrian to line up against Green Bay and provide the consistent deep threat that has been missing for the team since Randy Moss was traded to Oakland. According to Berrian, fans can expect to see their new No. 87 on the far-from frozen tundra of Lambeau Field when the Vikings meet the Packers.

Berrian missed three of the Vikings' four preseason games with what was announced as being turf toe in his right big toe. That has been amended by Berrian himself – the injury isn't turf toe, but part on ongoing condition he has learned to deal with, according to what he told the Star Tribune. While playing at Fresno State, Berrian had surgery on both of his big toes and he played through the pain last year.

Berrian says the injury isn't turf toe, but more of a pressure injury in which the bone in the foot near the big toe comes in contract with the top of the cleat – and injury most commonly seen among sprinters. He said it is an injury he has had to deal with and, like many players, there is a subtle difference between playing injured and playing with pain.

He practiced Tuesday and wasn't listed on the Vikings' initial injury report.

Whether the rest prescribed after the flare-up this preseason will do the trick or not is yet to be seen. But expect to see Berrian playing at full speed once the season begins and to remain that way as long as he can stand the pain. It isn't the most optimistic news to have for the $42 million man in the Vikings' passing game, but, as any NFL player will tell you, playing through pain is just part of the business.

THURSDAY NOTES

  • The Vikings first injury report has four players listed – Madieu Williams (neck), Maurice Hicks (foot), Robert Ferguson (ankle) and Tarvaris Jackson (knee). Williams has already been ruled out for Monday and Jackson has indicated that he will be playing.

  • Any chance the Vikings may have had if OT Willie Anderson was to remain available on the free agent market after being released by the Bengals last weekend seems to be all but dead. Anderson passed a physical with Baltimore and said he has narrowed his choices down to the Ravens, Chargers and Buccaneers.

  • In a sign of respect, Brett Favre was elected one of the team captains by his new Jets teammates. In a similar move, the Dolphins elected Chad Pennington – picked up when the Jets released him to sign Favre – as a team captain Tuesday.

  • In one of the stranger stories of the preseason, former Lions running back Tatum Bell is being accused of stealing the bags of Rudi Johnson, the player the Lions signed that led to Bell's release. Bell was seen taking two unattended bags that were Johnson's and was caught on video doing so. Bell contends that he thought the bags belonged to DE Victor DeGrate, who was cut Saturday. He brought the bags to the home of a female friend of Degrate's, but when the bags were returned to the Lions practice facility Wednesday, they were empty. Johnson is still missing credit cards, his I.D. and about $200 in cash.

  • The Ravens officially signed former Viking Todd Bouman Wednesday after placing QB Kyle Boller on injured reserve.
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