Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian has put together a decent career in Minnesota and Chicago despite never having the benefit of a high-end quarterback.
And now that a high-end quarterback (despite the gray hair and bum arm) has been added to his team, Berrian has the first hamstring injury of his career.
It happened in the preseason opener, 13 days ago. And Berrian’s absence has been lost in the arrival of Lord Favre, his debut three days later, and the ongoing debate regarding the reality that some players in the locker room would have preferred to stand pat with the quarterbacks already on the roster.
Per Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Berrian’s earliest possible return to practice would come later this week. It’s currently unknown whether he has a shot at playing in the next preseason game, on Monday night against the Texans.
For now, Berrian is catching passes from Favre on a half-speed-at-best basis after practice.
“We’re going 40, 50 percent,” Berrian said, per Zulgad. “It’s not real timing. It’s just getting used to me running and getting in and out of breaks.”
Berrian plays a critical role in the Vikings’ version of the West Coast offense. Though it’s hardly a vertical, Raiders-style attack, Berrian periodically uses his speed to draw attention deep — and thus to open up the various underneath routes that are the core of the baby-steps offense.
So even though it’s important for Berrian to develop a solid rapport with Favre, it’s far more important that Berrian be 100 percent comes September 13, because his role as a deep-threat decoy arguably will be even more important that his role as a catcher of passes.