Notes: Childress Confirms Jackson as Starter

It was a busy Tuesday at Winter Park, as the Vikings changed quarterbacks, talked about the Packers on a short week and had three starters named to the NFC Pro Bowl team. Here's the synopsis version.

Vikings head coach Brad Childress confirmed that rookie Tarvaris Jackson will start Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field.

"I think when you make a decision like that, first of all you visit with the guy that was starting. I don't like to (be) knee-jerk. I don't like to be emotional after a game, which you typically are," Childress said. "Come back to the office and obviously we have preparation for Green Bay. Look at that game film, evaluate it, think about what you are going to do, sleep on it, and then decide, so I don't do that just to do it. I think we needed a spark at that point in time. I think he gave it to us."

While many fans want a glimpse of Jackson's potential for the future, Childress said inserting Jackson into the starting lineup in place of veteran Brad Johnson was done for the present as well.

"The future is the future, but he'll give us the best chance to win right now just based on what I saw off of that tape," Childress said.

"We liked his skill set coming out obviously, and that would include how he thinks. Obviously, for a quarterback, not just his arm, not just his athletic ability. The guy's got to be able to communicate. He's got to be able to make decisions quickly and effectively, and we saw those things and continue to see it through training camp on."

In three relief appearances of Johnson this season, Jackson has completed 17 of 237 passes for 146 yards, a touchdown and an interception for an 84.2 passer rating. Johnson had completed 269 of 438 passes for 2,738 yards, nine touchdowns and 15 interceptions for a 71.9 rating.

The Vikings and Packers, both at 6-8, are on the cusp of being eliminated from the playoffs with a loss.

  • Center Matt Birk, guard Steve Hutchinson and defensive tackle Kevin Williams were named to the NFC Pro Bowl squad.

  • Childress would not say who would start at right tackle. Marcus Johnson, Mike Rosenthal and Ryan Cook have all made starts this year at that position.

  • The Vikings placed defensive tackle Spencer Johnson (ankle/knee) on injured reserve, ending his season, and promoted wide receiver Martin Nance from the practice squad to the active roster. They signed offensive lineman Jimmy Martin to the practice squad to take Nance's place.

  • Thursday night's game could be Brett Favre's last game at Lambeau Field if he retires after the season. The Packers close out the regular season with a trip to Soldier Field to play the Chicago Bears.

    "Love Brett Favre, whether it's his last game or not. It's a great venue to go play and compete in, and he'll compete," Childress said. "Whether it's his first game or his last game, he's going to compete and let the football go the way he always does. That's what you appreciate about him – he is a competitor."

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