Pro Football Weekly hits up PFW correspondent and Vikings beat writer Judd Zulgad to discuss five hot issues surrounding the team.
PFW: If the Vikings lose or Brett Favre struggles Sunday, could we see some of Tarvaris Jackson at some point?
Zulgad: I don't think so. The issue is that Favre is making more than $1 million per game, and Jackson probably has no future in Minnesota. He likely will be a free agent and is looking for a fresh start elsewhere. The Vikings already know what they have in Jackson, too, so it doesn't make much sense to make a pending free agent who wants to leave your starting quarterback.
PFW: Is Bernard Berrian getting unfairly attacked for missing Sunday's game or is there something to it?
Zulgad: No, Berrian deserves the heat. He has yet to say what happened — he refuted Favre's statement that Berrian aggravated his groin in pregame warmups — but for whatever reason Berrian had been placed on the 45-man game-day roster when he told coach Brad Childress he couldn't go. This left the Vikings shorthanded at wide receiver and also cost them a potential special-teams spot that could have been used on a player who would have helped replace Eric Frampton after he got hurt. If Berrian had any doubt in his mind, he should have told Childress to keep him down.
PFW: Do you believe Pat Williams can play another year or two like he says he wants to?
Zulgad: Sure. It probably won't be in Minnesota and might no longer be a Pro Bowl player but Williams is a big nose tackle in the Ted Washington mold that could help a team stuff the run. Perhaps a good fit as a head-up nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme.
PFW: Which unit has been more disappointing relative to your expectations coming into the season — the offensive line or the defensive line?
Zulgad: The defensive line led the NFL in sacks last season and has three Pro Bowl players on it. No question, the expectations for this unit were higher and haven't been reached. Remember, six of their sacks came two weeks ago against Arizona. This defensive line could be one of the most disappointing in the NFL.
PFW: What do you expect Sidney Rice can do in his first game, if indeed he comes off the PUP list?
Zulgad: Don't assume there will be a first game for Rice in 2010. He needs to come off the PUP by Nov. 24 or his season is done. Rice and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, are going to think long and hard about having him play this season. Rice already cost himself money on the free-agent market by not having surgery early in the offseason and waiting until just before the season started. This was done in part because the Vikings didn't give him a contract extension. Does it make sense for Rice to return to a 3-6, or maybe 3-7 team, and run the risk of re-injury? Probably not.