Culpepper Has PCL Strain

As feared Sunday night when VU spotted Daunte Culpepper attempting to struggle his way up two flights of stairs, the injury to his left knee is more serious that originally indicated, as proved through a MRI Thursday.

Daunte Culpepper had hoped a couple of days rest would help his ailing knee. It didn't. On Wednesday, he got the results that he hoped would say nothing structurally was wrong. It didn't.

Culpepper's MRI revealed a strained posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) that, while not torn, is taking away a considerable amount of his mobility, which was obvious as Culpepper limped around Winter Park Thursday.

In what has to be viewed as a must-win game -- aren't they all at this point? -- Culpepper said he intends to play Sunday and Dennis Green told VU he will be fitted for a brace to allow him to play if needed.

Culpepper hasn't missed a start in two seasons, but, if he can't go, Todd Bouman will not only get his first NFL start, but his first extended action of any game in his career.

* Kailee Wong has shown a lot of improvement from the knee injury that knocked him out of last Sunday's game and he is more confident he can return to action Sunday.
* Jim Kleinsasser was downgraded from probable to questionable with a sprained ankle, and VU is being told it is unlikely he'll play again this week -- more bad news for Culpepper, who will have a bullseye on his back all day.
* Brad Badger may be available to play left tackle Sunday, but VU has been told Everett Lindsay will get the start and, at best, Badger will play situationally.
* The Steelers downgraded guard Rich Tylksi from questionable to doubtful Thursday.
* Jerome Bettis looks to be the first 1,000-yard rusher in the NFL this season. He needs just nine yards to top 1,000 yards for the eighth time in his nine-year career and has gone over 100 yards five times in 10 games. Ironically, the Vikings have allowed five 100-yard rusher in their 10 games this season.

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