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Updated: December 23rd, 2010 4:13pm
Notebook: Favre's head not clearing; Booker to stay on kick returns

Notebook: Favre's head not clearing; Booker to stay on kick returns

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings once again are willing to wait as long as they can to give Brett Favre a chance to play.

The 41-year-old quarterback took another post-concussion test on Thursday morning "and didn't fair as well," interim coach Leslie Frazier said.

However, Favre watched the majority of the afternoon's practice from the sideline, and Frazier said the team is willing to wait until at least Saturday before ruling Favre out for Sunday night's game at Philadelphia.

"It was much the same," Frazier said of the latest test. "Not much improvement for him."

Protocol established by the NFL last December requires players who suffer concussions to be symptom-free and cleared by both a team doctor and an independent neurologist before they can play again.

So, Favre in theory would need to pass both the mental and conditioning tests sometime before the Vikings depart for Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon -- although his surprise start on Monday against Chicago leaves a possibility the Vikings would wait on a final decision until Sunday, too.

None of the four Vikings players listed on the injury report with concussions this season have played the following week, and Favre has one fewer day to recover because of the short week.

"Some guys respond a little bit better," Frazier said. "But in this era, where we're very cautious when it comes to head injuries, you're just very cautious."

Booker earns his keep

Halfback Lorenzo Booker will remain the Vikings' primary kick returner in place of Percy Harvin, whose two-game absence because of migraines gave Booker a shot.

Booker is averaging 23.3 yards on 12 returns in spite of having a 96-yard return for a touchdown erased by a penalty. Harvin -- who went to the Pro Bowl last year as a return specialist -- played on Monday against Chicago, but Booker continued to handle returns and popped a 49-yarder.

"He's been doing a great job for us," Frazier said. "We'd like to continue to let him do it and let Percy continue to concentrate on the receiver position for now. Not that you may not see Percy back there, but right now, the way Lorenzo is hitting that ball up in there, let him continue."

Health watch

Free safety Madieu Williams still has symptoms from his concussion, Frazier said, and "didn't do as well" on his latest test.

With top backup Tyrell Johnson (knee) also not improving, Jamarca Sanford -- who sat out Monday's loss to Chicago with his own concussion -- most likely will make his second career start and first since last Dec. 13.

Halfback Adrian Peterson (knee) returned to practice on a limited basis, cornerback Frank Walker (hamstring) remained limited and Sanford once again was a full participant.

In Philadelphia, receiver DeSean Jackson (foot) was downgraded to limited participation in practice, while cornerback Jorrick Calvin (back) and linebacker Keenan Clayton (hamstring) remained sidelined for a second straight day. Defensive tackle Mike Patterson (knee) returned on a limited basis. Running back Jerome Harrison (not injury related) was removed from the injury report.

Fine time

The NFL fined cornerback Antoine Winfield $17,500 for a helmet-to-helmet hit and a uniform violation in Monday's game against Chicago, his agent, Ashanti Webb, told the Pioneer Press.

Winfield pulled up on the second-quarter slot blitz, which forced an interception, but the crown of his helmet appeared to hit Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in the chin. Cutler pleaded for a flag with referee Carl Cheffers to no avail.

The uniform violation was related to the height of Winfield's socks, Webb said.

Vikings end Ray Edwards said he had not heard from the league about his personal foul against the Bears nor the profanity he yelled at Cheffers as the referee announced the penalty to the crowd and ESPN's national audience.

The contact appeared incidental, with Edwards stumbling past Cutler as defensive tackle Kevin Williams hit the quarterback, forcing his helmet into Edwards' helmet.

"I think you heard me say what I said on TV," Edwards said. "I told the ref it was B.S., and it was. I wasn't even rushing anymore -- I was turning around for the ball, and I got hit. But I guess he felt that I came too close to the quarterback. You know how that is."

Edwards, who has racked up $32,500 in known fines this season, said all of his appeals have failed except one that cut in half his fine for a preseason hit on Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

Quick hits

• Thursday's practice included competitive 2-minute and 11-on-11 periods. "The guys seem like they have the energy that you look for even in the midst of the fact that we're not preparing for playoffs or fighting for seeding or anything like that," Frazier said. "They are still working hard. We've just got to go out and play and hopefully finish strong (Friday) with one final practice before we get ready to head to Philadelphia."

Kevin Williams missed practice for personal reasons, Frazier said, and is expected to return on Friday.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
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