Jackson likely to be braced up

Tarvaris Jackson continued to wear a brace on his right knee in practice and seems likely to have it on Monday night against the Packers in the season opener.

Tarvaris Jackson likely will be wearing a brace on his right knee during Monday night's opener at Green Bay.

The Vikings quarterback wore the device during Thursday's practice to protect the sprained medial collateral ligament he suffered in his right knee on Aug. 16 at Baltimore.

"I don't want to wear it, but if I have to I will," Jackson said. "It's not to the point where I'm trying to go out here in practice and not wear it; it's the point where if I feel comfortable not wearing it I won't wear it. It's not me trying to politic not to wear it or them trying to get me to wear it. It's just the point of me feeling comfortable."

Jackson, entering his second season as the Vikings starter, said he feels far more comfortable in the role than he did a year ago. He went 8-4 as the Vikings starter in 2007 but missed four games because of injuries. He also threw three more interceptions than touchdowns (12-9) and had a subpar completion percentage (58.2) and passer rating (70.8).

"It's a big difference (this season). I feel a lot more comfortable," Jackson said. "I've been through this before. I'm going into my third year. I know what to expect out of my teammates, my coaches, out of you all, everybody. So I am very confident. It's to the point now that I pretty much know what is going to happen just by going out there and preparing well."

Jackson was not able to play in either game against the Packers in 2007. His last start against the Packers came in the second-to-last game of the 2006 season at Lambeau Field.

Jackson was making his first NFL start and it showed. He completed 10 of 20 passes for 50 yards with an interception in a 9-7 loss. Then last season, Jackson watched from the bench as the Vikings lost 34-0 at Lambeau.

"It was a bad situation," Jackson said of the latest defeat. "We thought we were ready to play, but we didn't come out and play as well as we thought (we should have). Like Coach (Brad) Childress mentioned earlier this week, the last two times we played at Lambeau, we haven't scored a point on offense. So we want to get out of that mode. We want to score some points, of course, and move the ball a little bit better."

NOTES

  • WR Bernard Berrian has gotten through four practices after being bothered by a toe injury on his right foot for much of training camp. Barring a setback, Berrian will play Monday against the Packers.

  • WR Robert Ferguson was limited in practice Thursday because of an ankle injury suffered in the third preseason game. His status for Monday's game remains uncertain.

  • RB Maurice Hicks did not practice Thursday as he continues to recover from a sprained foot. Hicks did work on the side and it's uncertain if he will be able to return kickoffs Monday night. If he can't, WR Aundrae Allison is likely to be used in that role.

  • Artis Hicks talked for the first time about playing left tackle for the opening four games in place of the suspended Bryant McKinnie. "It's not that big of an adjustment," said Hicks, who has made four of 49 career starts at left tackle. "The biggest thing is guys are a little bit faster out there, a little more athletic. The plays are pretty much the same. It's just the speed and quickness of the (defensive ends)."

  • The Vikings have named season-long captains for the first time. Pro Bowl LG Steve Hutchinson (offense), MLB E.J. Henderson (defense) and PK Ryan Longwell (special teams) were picked by their teammates.

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