The biggest surprise by the Vikings on cut-down day was the team keeping QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson (with part of one NFL season under his belt) and cutting 12-year veteran Sage Rosenfels.

Rosenfels said he was disappointed by the move, but Bethel-Thompson didn’t exactly see it coming.

“You never know about the numbers,” Bethel-Thompson said. “And with having a veteran in front of you who’s been in the league a long time, you think they have a plan for him, so you never count your chickens before they are hatched and at the same time you never know what to expect. Obviously, I was surprised and I am excited for the opportunity.”

Coach Leslie Frazier was asked what he liked about his new third-string signal caller:
“I like his arm strength--that shows up,” Frazier said. “He has accuracy, but his command is one thing that really got all of our attention. He has some confidence and some swagger about him -- and he has some talent to go along with that. He has some things that you’d like to try to develop over time and see where he ends up going.”

Bethel-Thompson had spent time last season in the Arena Football League and the USFL in addition to last preseason on the 49ers. Sunday against the Jaguars will be his first regular season NFL game.

"I am excited for it,” he said. “The atmosphere inside the Metrodome is going to be awesome. Minnesota has some amazing fans, so I am pumped for it.”

Jasper back from the Brink(ley): After missing all last season following hip surgery, LB Jasper Brinkley has worked his way back and finished the preseason by winning the middle linebacker job. Now he wants to give back to his teammates who have supported him.

“I have been wanting to tell the guys that during my whole ordeal, they stopped in the training room to check on me and that was big for those guys,” Brinkley said. “Now I come out here between the white lines, and I am willing to give it all for those guys.”

Jefferson joins right in: With punt returners CB Marcus Sherels recovering from an ankle injury and Josh Robinson just returning from a concussion, newly acquired CB A.J. Jefferson was returning kicks on Monday.

“If they want to throw me back there, I will do some kick returning,” said Jefferson. “I am real excited to get my hands on the ball whenever I can.”

While with Cardinals last season, Jefferson returned 14 kicks for 25.4-yard average.
Harvin getting his kicks: WR Percy Harvin, who hasn’t done much kick return work since the first weeks of training camp, was taking reps there at Monday’s practice. Harvin returned last season’s opening kickoff for a TD and could get work as a returner on Sunday.

“He is quite a weapon as a kickoff return guy,” Frazier said. “We’ll take a look during the course of the week and also look at what Jacksonville does on kickoff to determine when and how often we put him back there. We’ll continue to evaluate that throughout the week.”

Injury update: Vikings had four players not practicing on Monday due to ankle sprains: WR Jarius Wright, CB Marcus Sherels, S Andrew Sendejo and LB Marvin Mitchell.

“Marvin has a high ankle sprain, so that takes a little more time,” Frazier said. “Marvin is probably the one most in jeopardy to play in this first ball game.”

WR Greg Childs, who is on the IR and out for the season, attended practice on Monday. Childs tore both patellar tendons and was wearing braces on his knees. He was joking with his former Arkansas teammate WR Jarius Wright before practice.

“Greg is doing great,” said Wright. “He’s up walking and everything and he is able bend his knees. I am glad to see his spirits are back high.”

OL DeMarcus Love watched practice on Monday, but soon he won’t be around, as he will be undergoing surgery on his pectoral muscle.

“He’ll be out for the season,” Frazier said. “It’s about a four month recovery, so we won’t get him back this season.”

For more Vikings news and notes, follow Joe Oberle on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLMIN.