No Plummer For Vikings

The Vikings' defensive staff has a different game plan in place today after learning of a lineup change for the Broncos Sunday.

George O'Leary and his assistant coaches had planned to take steps to assure that Jake Plummer wouldn't use his scrambling ability to roll out of the pocket and deliver bombs to speedy wide receivers Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie Sunday.

That has all changed. Plummer, Denver's oft-injured quarterback, was allegedly healed from a shoulder injury that has bothered him much of the season. But, in a bizarre injury in his home, Plummer broke a metatarsel bone in his foot and will be out for what team doctors are saying is a minimum of 3-5 weeks.

With Plummer out, backup Steve Beuerlein, who led the Broncos to a 17-14 win over the Steelers last week, takes over. The good news for the Vikings defense is that Beuerlein is strictly a pocket passer, something of a glacier behind center. While he has veteran savvy, the added dimension Plummer would have brought to the game could be negated, since there is little chance Beuerlein will run unless flushed from the pocket by a pass rush.

* Sunday will mark the second straight game that the Vikings have faced a backup quarterback. In their win over the Falcons heading into the bye, the Vikings faced Doug Johnson -- since benched by Dan Reeves.
* Before Vikings fans start writing off Sunday as a sure win, remember that the 49ers thought the same when veteran backup Gus Frerotte was announced as the starter for the Vikings.
* D'Wayne Bates (foot) and Billy Lyon (calf) were both listed as questionable on the Vikings' injury report, but VU has been told it is likely both of them will miss Sunday's game. Bates worked out in practice Wednesday with a noticeable limp. If he misses the game, it will be the fourth straight game he hasn't played.

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