The veteran quarterback had his best game of the season when he made his first start of the year against Miami and ran for three touchdowns while passing for two more in the Raiders' 35-17 win in Week 3. That was Culpepper's shining moment, one which he's had a hard time duplicating ever since.
Oakland lost its next three games with Culpepper as its starter then benched him in favor of Josh McCown for the last two weeks. But with McCown nursing a sore right thigh and coming off back-to-back poor performances, Kiffin is going back to Culpepper in hopes of injecting life into one of the NFL's most lackluster offenses.
"You take everything into account but I just felt after watching film and putting everything together, felt it was time to go with Daunte and see if he can give us a little spark," Kiffin said. "It's nothing against Josh. Neither quarterback playing over the last month has done much for us offensively, obviously. We haven't produced anything close to what we would like to do. So we'll see if Daunte can give us a little spark this week going back to a place he was at for a long time."
Culpepper was the last Oakland player to leave the practice field Thursday and later said he isn't sure what type of greeting he'll get from the crowd in Minnesota, where he was once one of the most popular players in town.
"Who knows," Culpepper said. "I know the people in Minnesota love good football. I had a great time when I was up there but I'm here now. When we step in there I know it's going to be loud and crazy. That's what the game is about and that's what we love about it. We get challenged like that.
"As far as my energy level, I'm pretty sure I'll be jacked up and ready to go like every week. I'm fired up right now. I'm excited. I'm not going to say just because it's Minnesota. I'm getting the chance to get back on the field and do what I love to do which is play football. We're just trying to get a winning streak going. We have to start with one to make it a streak so we have to get this one."
Kiffin, however, would not say who Culpepper's back-up will be. "I don't know yet, with Josh not practicing," Kiffin said. "That will take a little longer to figure out."