Culpepper Looking Less Likely to Start

As the Vikings try to regroup, the team prepares for Tennessee Sunday and may have to do it without Daunte Culpepper.

Tuesday is an off day for players, but it may be the latest in a series of off days for Daunte Culpepper.

The Vikings gave some mixed signals Monday concerning Culpepper's status, as Dennis Green sounded a little more optimistic than Culpepper himself.

Green said that the Vikings are hopeful that the Pro Bowl QB can make his return to the lineup next week, armed with the opinion of the team's medical staff that Culpepper's strained posterior cruciate ligament won't sustain any more damage by playing with a brace.

Culpepper, however, was singing a different tune, telling VU that after playing flat-footed with the injury Sunday, he feels vulernable and his inability to run for yardage or even avoid a pass rush hinders him at best and is dangerous at worst.

Culpepper said last week he was going to play and would be fine. After facing the Steelers and seeing how the knee responded in game action, he's now saying if the knee doesn't get a lot better, he won't play Sunday.

VU will follow this story and give you the latest updates as game time draws closer.

TUESDAY NOTES
* There is a good possibility that, for the first time in five games, all five Vikings starting offensive linemen will be back in the lineup. Corbin Lacina returned last Sunday and Brad Badger and David Dixon are expected to be ready for the Titans.
* The Vikings continue to mount the number of opposing players they've injured. Jerome Bettis is the latest victim, listed by Bill Cowher as questionable for next week's game vs. the New York Jets with ankle, knee and hip problems -- all made worse by the Vikings, who knocked him out in the third quarter.
* In other injury news, Randy Moss bruised an elbow catching his TD pass Sunday, but is expected to play Sunday, as are linebackers Kailee Wong and Jim Nelson, both of whom suffered minor aggravations of injuries Sunday. LB Ed McDaniel, however, isn't as promising a prospect. He reinjured his high ankle sprain and is going to be listed as questionable at best for Sunday.
* With the Vikings' loss and Chicago's win Sunday, the Vikings were officially eliminated from defending their Central Division title. The Bears would have to lose their remaining five games and the Vikings would have to win their last five as the only scenario for winning the division title and the Bears have a tie-breaker advantage by beating Minnesota twice.
* From the "What the...?" Department comes this: Known for its incredibly inane speculation -- remember the Randy Moss to Denver trades they kept spouting last spring as a done deal? -- the paper is now hinting that Jerry Glanville, he of little coaching success and leaving tickets for the late Elvis Presley at home games, is a candidate to be the next Vikings coach if Green is fired. Who's next? Sam Wyche? Jimmy Johnson? Tom Landry? Oh, wait. He's dead. But that may not make a difference at St. Paul's new tabloid because apparently enquiring minds want to know.

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