|Jasper Brinkley has given the Vikings defense a leg up with his improved pass coverage skills. (US Presswire)|
So far, coach Leslie Frazier said Brinkley would stay in the game as the nickel linebacker even though LB Erin Henderson would be returning from his concussion.
“We're going to keep Jasper at the nickel mike for the time being,” Frazier said. “He's done a good job there. It will give Erin a chance to kind of get his legs back under him and then we'll revisit it later on. Jasper has done a good job, so we have a lot of confidence in what he's accomplished so far.”
Brinkley is more than happy for the opportunity, and credited RB Adrian Peterson for giving him inspiration during his rehabilitation.
“It's satisfying, knowing all the hard work I put in this past offseason,” Brinkley said . “It was a tough road back. Just like for Adrian [Peterson], I was working also. I saw his determination and it kind of rubbed off on me. I wanted to come back just the same way he did.”
Brinkley has always been known for his ability to stop the run. But he worked on his coverage skills and has proven capable of holding his own on passing downs.
“I always had the same coverage skills, I just never had the opportunity to get out there and show them like you guys see now,” he said. “I was a three-down back in college -- so that doesn't really change.”
Brinkley said the nickel spot is Henderson's. But if Brinkley continues to play like he has, Henderson may find it tough to get that job back.
“Jared practiced [Friday; he] did everything,” Frazier said. “We think he should be fine for the ball game. And Christian was fine. No residuals there.”'
LB Erin Henderson (concussion) and WR Michael Jenkins (ribs) are questionable. Marvin Mitchell (calf) was listed as doubtful, while S's Andrew Sendejo (ankle) and Mistral Raymond (ankle) were listed as out for the Titans game.
“Marvin, I'm not sure he'll make it,” Frazier said. “That calf strain, I don't think he'll have enough time to get ready to go. At least we have Erin back, we have Audie Cole, and we have Tyrone McKenzie."