Bouman Hopeful, Unsure of Starting Sunday

Just when Todd Bouman had a chance for extended starting time at QB, now his role in that position is in jeopardy -- thanks to a thumb injury on his throwing hand.

Todd Bouman waited almost five years for his chance to be a starter. Now, he's finding out what so many other NFL players have -- injuries are part of the game.

Bouman spent Monday in pain, thanks to hitting his throwing hand on the helmet of a teammate Sunday in the loss to Detroit. While viewed as probable for next Sunday's home finale vs. Jacksonville, Bouman's right hand was swollen Monday and he wasn't commiting to being available.

Tests of the injured hand revealed no broken bones, but he does have what is being termed by the team's medical department as a "strained ligament" on the palm side of his throwing hand thumb.

It is hoped that wrapping the tumb will reduce the swelling, but, in the event it doesn't, the Vikings will be down to their No. 3 quarterback Spergon Wynn Sunday.

* With Daunte Culpepper undergoing arthroscopic surgery this week on his ailing left knee and Bouman a question mark, the Vikings re-signed Romaro Miller, a QB who was close to making a roster spot prior to a trade with the Browns that brought Wynn to the team.
* In other non-controversial Culpepper news, he is scheduled to have surgery Wednesday or Thursday, but the Vikings aren't expected to place him on injured reserve immediately to make room for Miller.
* Who will the Vikings jettison once Miller is officially signed and delivered? It looks like Mitch Berger is the likely candidate. In what can only be described as the personification of the 2001 Vikings season, Berger, who was sidelined with a neck injury, now has swelling in his knee and will need arthroscopic surgery to clean out loose cartilage. He is the likely candidate to be placed on I.R. to create room for Miller, since Lee Johnson played well last week and the recovery time will take him past the final game of the regular season.
* A pair of injured Vikings -- safety Tyrone Carter (concussion) and fullback Jim Kleinsasser (ankle) -- are both expected back for Sunday's game.
* In other team-friendly news, for Vikes fans with tickets to Sunday's game, just a reminder that the NFL switched the Cleveland-Chicago game to 3:15 p.m. and moved the Vikes-Jaguars game to noon. While the NFL announced last month that the game had been switched, several NFL information sites still have the game as a late start. It's not. Come early, stay late and don't throw anything.

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