MANKATO, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has worked hard to return to practice quickly after missing some time with a left knee injury to ensure he doesn't fall behind in the competition for the starting job.
On Friday night under the lights, Jackson said he may have tried to do a little too much. He came up gimpy after planting in the pocket and limped around for several minutes before returning to action.
Jackson said afterward that he is still working the kinks out from a sprained MCL in his left knee that he suffered last weekend.
"I was fine. I guess I just wasn't ready for that right now," Jackson said after practice. "But it's fine. It's not bothering me still. It was awkward for me. I think it was just some scar tissue."
Jackson is in a competition with Sage Rosenfels for the starting job. The players split snaps with the first team during two practices on Friday. Jackson was first injured on Aug. 1 and missed three days of practice while working his way back. He has moved around well the last few days, but said he "felt something very uncomfortable" during the sequence on Friday night.
"I just felt something pop for a quick second," Jackson said. "But after I walked to the sideline it was pretty much OK. It's fine."
Coach Brad Childress said on Thursday that the passing game had much to improve upon as training camp wears on. There were more struggles in the evening practice on Friday night, but Childress said that was because they were practicing third-and-long scenarios, a difficult position for the offense to be in.
Childress said he wasn't ready to "slap a grade on" the quarterback competition one week into training camp.
"Obviously [Jackson] has missed time, so it wouldn't be fair to sit there and say, 'This guy's ahead by virtue he had five more practices,'" Childress said. "It's a good competition. It's all headed toward cumulative work here during practice and then I want to watch them compete with the lights on."
Rosenfels looked sluggish in the early going, but appears to have grown more and more comfortable with the offense and his receivers in the last few practices. Childress said that it is a natural progression for a player who was acquired in a trade with the Texans in the offseason.
"Obviously more understanding. He gets it. I don't think he's having to think quite as much," Childress said. "But yeah, he's moving along. All three of those guys are moving along. We'll see how far along here in about a week."
The Vikings open the preseason on Friday against Indianapolis. Jackson and Rosenfels figure to get plenty of playing time in the exhibition games as the fight continues.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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