Holcomb Likely to Start

With Tarvaris Jackson's right index finger in a splint, it has become more apparent that Kelly Holcomb is likely going to return to the lineup to face the challenge of the blitz-heavy Eagles defense.

Watching Tarvaris Jackson surrounded by media members with microphones and cameras Wednesday had much the same look as a deer in the glare of car headlights. The questions came from all directions and he tried to field them as best he could. But, in the end, while he gave every indication that he wants to play and hasn't lost hope, the chances of Jackson seeing playing time Sunday seem remote at best.

Jackson, who injured the index finger of his throwing hand in Sunday's loss to the Cowboys and made the injury worse late in the game on a sack, was unable to bend the finger at all Monday and, despite trying to practice Wednesday, still seems a long way from being able to play.

When asked what his primary concern is, Jackson said the accuracy of passes that are greatly diminished if he can't grip the ball properly and zip it into tight windows to find his receivers.

"Basically, it's just throwing the football," Jackson said. "You want a tight spiral, but it's hard to spiral a football without the index finger. It's the most important finger other than the thumb. If I can't control the football, I don't want to be out there."

If Jackson can't go, Kelly Holcomb will get his third start of the season. Holcomb took over for Jackson after Jackson suffered a groin injury against the Lions that he acknowledged Wednesday is still bothering him. Holcomb started against the Chiefs and Packers – both Vikings losses – but he may be the best choice as it pertains to the blitz-happy Jim Johnson defense the Vikings will face Sunday.

When the Eagles lost Jeff Garcia to free agency, they wasted little time in signing the veteran Holcomb. But, when Donovan McNabb healed from offseason surgery and quarterback Kevin Kolb was their first selection in the 2007 draft, it left one too many quarterbacks on the roster. While Holcomb was traded at the end of the preseason to the Vikings, he spent six months learning the Eagles offense and practicing against the Eagles defense. He has a much stronger working knowledge of the Eagles and what their defense will bring, so even if Jackson can go, Holcomb might be the better option this week anyway.

THURSDAY NOTES
* Coach Brad Childress has been slammed in the local and national media for showing such restraint on overusing rookie Adrian Peterson, most recently catching the ire of Hall of Fame coaches Mike Ditka and Bill Parcells. At his Wednesday press conference, without any prodding or questioning from the assembled media, Childress addressed the lack of touches that Peterson is getting on a consistent basis, saying, "We understand here that we have a great talent in Adrian Peterson and we are trying to grow him just like we attempt to grow all of our young guys. I am sure his role will increase as we go through the rest of this football season, but there will be times and situations where situations will dictate that we have other folks in the football game."
* Whether related or not, Chester Taylor appeared on the team's injury report Wednesday, listed as being limited in practice with a groin injury.
* Other new Vikings injuries listed on the initial injury report were tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (groin) and guard Anthony Herrera (knee). Both were limited in practice Wednesday. If Herrera can't go, former Eagles starter Artis Hicks would return to his role at right guard against his former team.
* Continuing injury problems remain for DE Erasmus James (shoulder) and fullback Naufahu Tahi (knee) – both of whom were limited in practice. Safety Dwight Smith (hamstring) and linebacker Vinny Ciurciu (ankle) did not take part in any of Wednesday's practice.
* The Vikings avoided a blackout for Sunday's game when the remaining 2,000 tickets that were available as of Monday were sold. It will make Sunday's game the 99th straight sellout, dating back to 1998.
* The Vikings re-signed guard Brian Daniels to the practice squad and released CB Chad Johnson to make room.
* Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway will be appearing at Max Muscle in Lakeville from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday signing autographs. Also on hand will be good friend to Viking Update Chad Sumption, a pro bobybuilder who currently holds the title of Mr. Minnesota Natural, and Sherrie Carnicle, national figure competitor. You can also register to win an autographed Greenway game jersey. Max Muscle is located at 17742 Kenwood Trail in Lakeville.

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