QB Issues Plague Vikes

As the Chargers continue to sail a winning ship, the Minnesota Vikings (2-5) try to plug a big hole in theirs. The Vikings' third-string quarterback is the only healthy signal caller on their roster and a former player's plea gives new meaning to the term Monday morning quarterback.

For the second consecutive week, the Chargers face a team with an unsettled quarterback situation. In week eight, the Houston Texans were uncertain if Matt Schaub would start. He did, although he didn't finish. A ferocious hit by Drayton Florence left him dazed and confused.

The Minnesota Vikings are in the same boat. With only one healthy quarterback on the roster, the Vikings are hurt and their record shows it.

"All we can do is do everything we can to prepare for a pretty good San Diego Chargers team, who I might note had their struggles early in the year and have turned that thing around," Brad Childress said.

The early season reminder is a product of the Vikings' distress. Starting QB Tarvaris Jackson's right index finger is broken and their backup is not doing any better. A sack in last week's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles left Kelly Holcomb sore from whiplash.

The Vikings have posisble replacements beyond third-string Brooks Bollinger, who was forced into action last week despite minimal practice reps. Bollinger went 7-of-10 for 94 yards, which makes Childress think a 911 call is premature.

"We've got an emergency list [of quarterbacks] on our team, but that's just what they are, emergency quarterbacks," Childress said. "I'm pretty sure we can get a couple healthy somewhere along the line here within the building."

Childress was impressed by Bollinger's unscheduled performance, but Bollinger sits in third on the depth chart because of lack of experience and a bout with preseason turnovers.

Childress does not consider the situation dire enough to accept an offer from a former Vikings quarterback who is a month shy of 40.

Fourteen-year veteran Jeff George called a local radio station on Monday to offer his arm. George has not thrown a regular-season pass since 2001. He started twice for Marty Schottenheimer's Washington Redskins six years ago and played for the Vikings in 1999.

"I know they're banged up," George told the Pioneer Press. "But with a running back like Adrian Peterson, I would be licking my chops. With that running back, you need someone who can throw that deep ball, and I know I still can. I don't care about the talent at receiver."

A Bolt of Confidence

--After three consecutive wins LaDainian Tomlinson has no doubt in his team's ability to overthrow this season's most hyped squads.

"Say we play Indianapolis later on this year or have to play New England again, if we don't turn the football over and they don't turn the football over and it's just kind of an equal game, then I like our chances," Tomlinson said.

--Last week's cloud of smoke disguised the large window that Jamal Williams's (knee) absence created on the line. Those closest to the breeze are thankful to the defenders who closed it.

"Jamal Williams is the key to our defense," Luis Castillo said. "He's the center of our defense, our defensive line and maybe one of the best players in the NFL. Obviously, when you miss him it hurts, but Brandon McKinley and Ryon Bingham stepped up and played a great game for us and did everything they could to help us win."

--WR Chris Chambers (450 yards) and Antonio Gates (639) are one of the six duos in the league on pace to reach 1,000 receiving yards each in 2007. Randy Moss and Wes Welker lead the group with a combined 1,392 yards.


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