The quarterback situation for Sunday's game at Detroit took a different turn Monday, as Brad Childress declined to name a starter for the game.
Childress, who has defended Brad Johnson despite a sub-par season for almost all of the 2006 campaign, didn't keep the same level of optimism Monday, saying "I have a few different options" at his weekly day-after-game press conference.
Those options, it would seem, are contingent on the health of backup Brooks Bollinger. Monday Bollinger had his left (non-throwing) arm in a sling and Childress reported he got a pain-killing injection in the shoulder. He won't know until Wednesday if the pain has subsided enough for Bollinger to be part of the QB equation.
As for Tarvaris Jackson, the rookie has become the center of a mini-controversy, as some in the media believe he was told to tell reporters following Sunday's loss to the Bears that he wasn't ready to be the starter.
Still in the mix is starter Brad Johnson. Thanks to a Panthers loss on Monday night, the wild card picture is even more muddled than ever with four teams at 6-6 atop the leader board and the Vikings just one game back. Johnson is probably the Vikings' best hope to run the table in the final four games – like it or not – and Childress, while having plenty of options, likely realizes his best option is with the guy who can pull out a Super Bowl ring as resume material.
* Childress tried to downplay some of the finger pointing that went on following Sunday's game. Safety Darren Sharper, a well-spoken member of the Vikings defense who has come to the defense of his struggling offense in the past, seemed to hit a breaking point Sunday along with other teammates who hinted the defense would have to score points for the Vikings to win.
"It's a volatile situation after a game," Childress said. "There are emotions that are on edge and I understand that. We're not trying to hide anything from anybody. The only thing you say is – and they're clear on this – it's a team game."
* Chester Taylor had a cartilage scan done on his ribs Monday. He injured his ribs in the second quarter, but returned twice before being shut down in the second half. If Taylor can play Sunday, it will be with protective padding. If he can't go, Ciatrick Fason will likely get the start and Mewelde Moore would likely remain the third-down and change-of-pace back.
* Artis Hicks is expected to be ready for Sunday's game.
* Childress failed to give an endorsement of Troy Williamson on his weekly radio program. When asking the host to reiterate his question of whether we would see Williamson "in uniform" again, Childress got the host to state being active on gameday. He responded by merely saying "there is a chance of that" – which could be interpreted to mean that, barring a change of things, there is little chance of that.
* Despite having an awful 1.3 passer rating Sunday, Rex Grossman remains the Bears' starting quarterback. At his Monday press conference, Lovie Smith made a point to reiterate that fact – without being prompted with a question.
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