The Vikings' rookies are some of the best the team has ever had and among the best in the NFL.
BY SEAN JENSEN
Article Last Updated: 12/22/2007 11:16:54 PM CST
When they opened the season against the Atlanta Falcons, the Vikings fielded a veteran starting lineup.
Rookie Sidney Rice technically started, because the offense opened in a three-receiver set, but he didn't make his next start until November.
Sticking to his philosophy, Vikings coach Brad Childress preferred his rookies, including star running back Adrian Peterson, to earn the distinction as a starter.
"I don't think that's the optimum," Childress said. "Rookies starting are rare. It's not a deal where there is an entitlement.
"They have to work, in the team's eyes, to where it merits them being given that opportunity."
The Vikings could start up to four rookies in a pivotal, prime-time, playoff-caliber game against the Washington Redskins tonight (Rice is questionable with an ankle sprain). In their five-game winning streak, the Vikings' top five rookies have played prominent roles, with Peterson and Rice scoring six touchdowns, cornerback Marcus McCauley and defensive end Brian Robison starting two games apiece, and receiver Aundrae Allison returning a kickoff a team-record 104 yards.