The Free Press, Mankato, MN

August 11, 2013

Floyd says MRI came back negative

By Chad Courrier
ccourrier@mankatofreepress.com

---- — MANKATO — Sharrif Floyd didn't think there was anything serious about his knee injury, and the rookie defensive tackle said an MRI showed no damage Sunday.

He's ready to resume practice whenever the Minnesota Vikings' coaching and medical staff gives him the OK.

"No worries on my part," he said, fololwing Sunday's afternoon practice. "At the end of the day, it's (coach Leslie Frazier's) call, not mine."

Floyd's left knee was a little sorer on Sunday than it was on Saturday, so Frazier said the team decided that Floyd, one of the Vikings' three first-round drafts picks, should have an MRI to make sure there wasn't any damage.

"Not overly concerned by everything I have been told," Frazier said. "It’s just sore so we want to err on the side of caution."

Floyd was hit low from behind in the second quarter of Friday's preseason game against Houston and did not return, even though he said he felt like he could. He was on the field for Sunday's morning walk-through and afternoon padded practice but did not participate.

"I knew it was OK right after it happened," he said. "I knew there was no problem."

Frazier said that Floyd did some good things before the injury, with one tackle and a deflected pass.

Jennings feeling funky

Receiver Greg Jennings said it was different, coming out of the home tunnel before Friday's game. In seven seasons with Green Bay, Jennings came onto the Metrodome field from the opposite side.

"It was a little funky," he said. "One of the guys going down the tunnel was giving me a hard time, but purple feels great. Glad I'm here."

Jennings said the No. 1 offense was disappointed that it only got two plays because of an interception that ended the opening drive, but despite some lobbying, Jennings said there was no chance they were getting any more action.

"As a competitor, you don't want to go down like that," he said. "Not just myself, we all wanted to go back in. That's why you have to execute and taking advantage of your opportunities."

Robison expects more

Defensive end Brian Robison expects to play more on Friday's second preseason game, but he's still in training camp mode until then.

"When you look around the league, guys play more in the second preseason game and then play a lot in the third one," he said. "Then the fourth, you don't do much. But we're still in training camp and getting our work in."

The starters played little, if any, in Friday's loss to Houston. Frazier said that the No. 1 units would likely play into the second quarter this week, depending on how many snaps that involves.

Fine Line

The play started as a short pass, but with each broken tackle, rookie fullback Zach Line kept moving toward the goal line. Finally, a block from Stephen Burton allowed him to get clear and score on the 61-yard play Friday.

"It was very cool," he said. "My parents were in town, and they loved it. We went out to dinner, and my dad was ecstatic. Then I got my picture in the paper. Everything went right."

Line, a free agent who ranks second at Southern Methodist in career rushing yards behind Eric Dickerson, is battling for the fullback position, and Frazier said that Line's chances of making the team will depend more on his blocking than running and receiving. But Line showed that he could carry the football if necessary.

"When (Burton) got that first guy, I thought I could go all the way," Line said. "I really didn't have to do much except be in shape to make it 61 yards."

Notes

Cornerbacks A.J. Jefferson and Xavier Rhodes and free-agent linebacker Desmond Bishop all returned to practice Sunday afternoon after missing time with hamstring injuries. Defensive tackle Christian Ballard (groin) and linebacker Audie Cole (ankle) did not practice. Frazier said cornerback Jacob Lacey will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his knee and likely be out 2-4 weeks. ... Backup center Joe Berger returned to camp after missing a few days last week because of a death in the family. ... Former Minnesota State receivers LaMark Brown and Adam Thielen both had impressive afternoon practices, with each catching several passes in team drills, including at least one long reception.