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.
No Plummer For Vikings
Viking Update Top Stories
Patterson, McKinnon remain outThe Minnesota Vikings remained without a couple of key players on offense Friday, but had one return to full participation.
Viking Update1:37 PM
VIDEO: Turner talks run game, pass proMinnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner discusses the issues in the running game, pass protection and more.
Viking Update10:47 AM
McKinnon out of boot, status still uncertainJerick McKinnon couldn’t say whether he would be able to play on Monday night, but the sprained ankle is healing.
Viking Update10:24 AM
VIDEO: Priefer breaks down mistakes in PhillyMinnesota Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer breaks down the breakdowns in Philadelphia and looks forward to Chicago.
Viking Update10:18 AM
Hard-core stats: Vikings vs. BearsMost of the stats point the Minnesota Vikings’ way, but where are the Bears and Vikings most vulnerable? We break it down from every angle.
Viking Update7:26 AM