MINNESOTA VIKINGS: All signs point to . . .
MINNEAPOLIS Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress wasn't about to reveal who his quarterback would be four days before a game. Kelly Holcomb and Brooks Bollinger, who either hadn't been told or were being loyal employees, weren't about to divulg...
MINNEAPOLIS Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress wasn't about to reveal who his quarterback would be four days before a game. Kelly Holcomb and Brooks Bollinger, who either hadn't been told or were being loyal employees, weren't about to divulge company secrets. And Tarvaris Jackson said his groin injury is getting better by the day.
So who is going to be the starter Sunday in Kansas City?
All indications are that barring a miraculous recovery by Jackson, Holcomb will get the nod for at least one week. People with knowledge of the situation said the 11-year veteran got the most work with the first team during Wednesday's practice at Winter Park.
"For me it's just a competitive disadvantage to declare a guy today," said coach Brad Childress, who likely won't officially name a starter until Friday. ". . . I hate to be evasive but I'm evasive."
Impossible for the Vikings to hide was the fact Jackson walked with a noticeable limp and, according to the injury report, did not participate in any of practice.
The second-year quarterback suffered the groin strain in the fourth quarter of the Vikings' 20-17 loss Sunday at Detroit and departed in overtime.
Jackson, who threw a career-high four interceptions in the defeat, has been undergoing nearly non-stop treatment and expressed optimism about his progress. But while Childress made it clear Monday that despite Jackson's subpar performance he remained the starter, the coach isn't going to put his prized prospect in any danger.
"You've got to be able to protect yourself," Childress said. "You've got to be able to move about. You can't be a sitting duck. So yeah he's got to be able to move around first before anything else. (This) hasn't affected a throwing motion or anything like that. It's just a matter of not having all his faculties."
Said Jackson: "I don't want to go out there if I'm not 100 percent and not able to at least make plays a little bit. I don't want to go out there and hurt the football team."
Although Childress might not be willing to tell the media of his plans, he said Wednesday that he had talked to Holcomb and Bollinger and "we kind of know where it's at."
Holcomb, 34, who was acquired in late August from Philadelphia for a sixth-round pick in 2009, has been the Vikings' emergency quarterback for the first two games. His only action came in the preseason finale against Dallas when he played the third quarter and completed five of eight passes for 59 yards with an interception.
"It's been a little while," Holcomb said. "It's not like riding a bicycle, but you've got to get in there and look at all the tape and see what they're doing to you."
Holcomb was familiar with the West Coast offense the Vikings use after spending five months in virtually the same system following his trade last March from Buffalo to Philadelphia. It did take some time for him to learn a few of the differences between the schemes and that is one reason Bollinger served as Jackson's backup for the first two games.
"I have seen him develop, and really it was developing the small things, whether it be a snap count or how we do a motion or how we call something," Childress said of Holcomb.
Jackson, meanwhile, not only had to address questions about his second injury in two NFL seasons last year a torn meniscus in his right knee slowed him for much of the year but he also had to field queries regarding his miserable day in Detroit. That included a 26.4 quarterback rating.
Jackson admits his performance makes the prospect of missing the upcoming game all the more frustrating, adding, "I want to get back out there again and just try to correct some things and get better."
No matter what happens, though, he contends his confidence level remains high.
"I just know what decisions I have to make and just not throwing the football up," Jackson said. "One thing as a quarterback you learn is you're going to have bad games, but you've got to move on. That's part of your job and you've got to have a short memory because you've got 10 other guys depending on you; you've got your whole team depending on you really. You don't want to lose your confidence just because you had a bad game, but at the same time you want to make better decisions."