Notebook: Circumstances still unclear in Berrian's self-benching
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- More than 24 hours after Bernard Berrian benched himself for Sunday's loss at Chicago, the circumstances surrounding the Minnesota Vikings receiver's decision remained somewhat cloudy.
Berrian declined comment in the locker room on Monday afternoon, saying he had "to go see a doctor," while coach Brad Childress seemed to restrain his displeasure while explaining he's unsure when or how Berrian came to the conclusion he couldn't play.
Listed as questionable on Friday's injury report with a groin injury, Berrian was on the 45-man game day roster and came out in his uniform for the final pregame warmup. However, by the time the game began, Berrian was planted on the end of the bench without his helmet.
Quarterback Brett Favre said after the game Berrian seemed OK until "all of a sudden, throw him the first pass in pregame and he does down." But Berrian quickly denied that explanation via his Twitter account, saying he's "played plenty (of) games injured. (You) just don't hear (a)bout it. (And) warmup had nothing (to) do (with) it."
"Somebody mentioned something to me about that," Childress said, referring to the disparity of the accounts provided by Favre and Berrian.
"That's hard to read into what may or may not happen. I didn't see the play that you're referring to. I just know that Bernard slid down to me during the pat-and-go when I got to the field and I said, 'How's the leg?' And he said, 'Ahhh, I don't think it's good enough to go.' That's the time that I became aware of it."
That conversation happened sometime after inactives were due 90 minutes before kickoff, leaving the Vikings with only 44 players available and four receivers.
There were no other healthy options at receiver, short of promoting Freddie Brown from the practice squad, but coaches always want as many bodies available as possible to help on special teams.
"Typically, he was going to try to give it a go," Childress said. "Whether he tweaked it or pulled it more then -- you have to believe that, or an hour and a half before the game, we would have had somebody else in his suit."
The Vikings finished the game with only three receivers after Percy Harvin, who led the team with four catches for 64 yards and a touchdown, tweaked his ailing left ankle in the fourth quarter.
"He received treatment (Monday)," Childress said. "We'll have to see when we get to Wednesday. Typically, that's a two or three-day deal. I think he's going to be just fine. Tough guy."
The Vikings also had been hopeful they'd get reinforcements at the position with the return of Sidney Rice, who has practiced the past two weeks under a roster exemption as he recovers from hip surgery.
However, Rice told the Vikings after Saturday's mock game he didn't feel ready to return, and Childress -- who said a week ago Rice was "very close" to coming back -- wouldn't speculate on whether he might have his receiving corps at full strength on Sunday against Green Bay.
"That would be me guessing as to what the future holds," Childress said.
It wasn't his outburst after the loss at Green Bay, but Childress made clear he wasn't pleased with multiple calls in Sunday's loss.
"The referee is looking at the quarterback and there's somebody else that's down there," Childress said.
The resulting 10-yard penalty backed up a field-goal attempt Ryan Longwell clanked off the left upright.
Childress also felt officials missed "a couple pushes in the back right there at the point" on Devin Hester's 42-yard punt return in the third quarter.
Punter Chris Kluwe -- who "punted it just about where we wanted it punted" near the sideline, according to Childress -- was more direct in his criticism via his Twitter account.
"Great job NFL officials on not seeing the THREE separate clipping penalties on Hester's punt return," Kluwe said, adding an expletive for effect.
"I wasn't totally sure how bad it was," said Sullivan, who had his head in his hands for several seconds as trainers rushed onto the field to examine his left leg.
"I knew that I had to get off the field, get evaluated, but you kind of go to the ground to give the next guy a chance to get in."
Safety Eric Frampton, who hurt his left hamstring covering a second-quarter punt, was in the locker room wearing a stim pad on the back of his left thigh.
Childress said the core special teamer was "maybe not as bad as he was (Sunday). He obviously was right at the point of going to make a play and something tugged on him. It's probably good he didn't turn over that stride another time full or it probably could have been worse."
• Childress began his media conference with an usually short opening statement, saying there was "really not a lot to recount from yesterday aside from playing that game over. Our soul view is on corrections and what we need to do to improve here both offense, defense and special teams. That's really the tact I'll take with the team here in just a little short time."
• Rookie CB Chris Cook said he was pleased with his first start in the base defense. "I feel like I played good," Cook said. "Best game I've played so far, from a technique standpoint and from an endurance standpoint."