Vikings sustain pre-season damage

One of the Vikings’ two fumbles in Saturday’s loss Steve Floyd/MSR News

Training camp continues for the Vikings in Eagan this week. However, for fans it’s over. You cannot go to the daily practices and sit in the stands and watch your heroes for free.

After working out against the Jacksonville Jaguars for two days in Eagan and then playing them in a preseason game Saturday, the battered and bruised Vikings have to move forward after Saturday’s 14-10 loss, a game that featured 20 penalties for 200 yards, two fumbles, and at least six Vikings suffering injuries.

Offensively, unlike the Denver game, the Vikings did nothing against the Jaguars. So it’s back to business, but now with injuries that could be significant

This important season for the Vikings has already been difficult. The death of Coach Tony Sporano is weighing heavily on the team’s hearts, while the reality of moving forward and preparing for the next test are hurdles. Sporano’s son, Tony Jr., is the assistant offensive line coach for Jacksonville — last week was extremely emotional for all.

This week the Seattle Seahawks are here Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium. The new rules changes in regard to tackling and lowering your helmets while tackling have resulted in confusion among some players.

This just in: Football is a physical and violent game; to win you have to impose your will on your opponent. Yet the league is trying to insert rules they think will protect the players. It’s difficult to play with a helmet and that helmet not make contact with your opponent. In fact, it’s impossible. The speed of the game and the physical preparation force players to make split-second reactions at full speed.

NFL players are being hit with huge financial fines in the thousands every game, and the players only make $400-$500 per game in the preseason. All those years of concussions suffered from days past when the NFL allowed just about anything physical, with helmet slapping and crack back blocks in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, has led to many lawsuits.

The owners are in a Catch-22 — protect the players now or make them believe you are trying to protect them so you won’t get sued later. The challenge is for the players to adjust and for the fans to accept less physical football.

The regular season is September and it’s fast approaching. This is the pre-season. Somehow the players and owners have to understand and trust each other. Now that, believe me, is easier said than done.