Starting Quarterback Now a Question Mark

After injuries to their first two quarterbacks in the last two games, the Vikings may have to turn to Brooks Bollinger as their starter against San Diego. The quarterback position is just one of Brad Childress' concerns in a season that is unraveling.

In a season that is quickly unraveling, the Vikings have plenty of question marks. One of the biggest entering Sunday's game against San Diego is exactly who is going to play quarterback?

The Vikings were down to No. 3 quarterback Brooks Bollinger in their 23-16 loss to Philadelphia last Sunday after veteran Kelly Holcomb suffered a whip-lash-like injury in the third quarter.

Holcomb was starting a game for the third time this season in place of Tarvaris Jackson because of an injury to the second-year quarterback. Holcomb's started in Weeks 3 and 4 as Jackson recovered from a groin strain.

On Sunday, Jackson sat out because of a fractured index finger on his right (throwing) hand. It's uncertain if Jackson will be able to return against the Chargers and Holcomb almost certainly will be held out. Holcomb was due to get an MRI on Monday and was to be fitted with a neck brace.

That means Bollinger could be in line for his first starting assignment since 2005 when he started nine of the 11 games in which he played while with the New York Jets.

"Whatever role I am given I am going to show up and execute it each day throughout the week and I will be ready on Sunday," said Bollinger, who completed seven of 10 passes for 94 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions against the Eagles. "All of that, they'll tell me. That's the good thing about my job; I don't have to make those decisions. I just have to show up and be the same guy every day and somebody tell me what to do. My job is to go out there and do it."

In the aftermath of his team's second consecutive loss, coach Brad Childress refused to speculate on who might start.

The quarterback situation is just one of many concerns for Childress, who is hearing his name more and more when it comes to NFL coaches on the hot seat.

Coming off a disappointing 6-10 season, the Vikings appear in even worse shape in Childress' second season at the helm. The Philadelphia loss dropped Minnesota to 2-5 on the season and 1-2 at the Metrodome.

Once a certainty to sell out all home games, blackouts have become a real concern for a franchise that has been trying to convince politicians and tax payers they should help the team get a new stadium.

The Vikings, who got off to a 4-2 start in 2006, need to get things turned around quickly but that isn't going to be easy with the Chargers coming to town.

San Diego is coming off a 35-10 victory over Houston and has won its past three games. While the Vikings feature a rush defense that should be able to slow standout running back LaDainian Tomlinson, tight end Antonio Gates promises to give the Vikings pass defense big problems.

That unit, which is ranked 32nd in the NFL and surrendered 333 yards passing to Donovan McNabb last Sunday, saw Dallas tight end Jason Witten catch 10 passes for 86 yards in an Oct. 21 loss against the Cowboys.

The Chargers, no doubt, have taken note of Witten's success.

NOTES

  • RB Adrian Peterson started ahead of Chester Taylor on Sunday and finished with 20 carries for 70 yards. Taylor, who was bothered by a groin injury, had six carries for 19 yards. Peterson is expected to remain in the starting role.

  • RT Ryan Cook suffered a separated shoulder in the third quarter against Philadelphia. He was administered a pain-killing shot and returned to the game. Cook underwent an MRI on Monday.

  • WR Bobby Wade underwent tests Monday after hyper-extending his knee in the fourth quarter against the Eagles.

  • DE Erasmus James continues to be bothered by a shoulder injury and did not play for the sixth time in seven games this season. James missed the first four games while recovering from a knee injury he suffered early in the 2006 campaign. He then played against Chicago on Oct. 14 but hasn't suited up for the past two games.

  • FS Dwight Smith missed a second consecutive game because of a hamstring injury. Smith continued to be replaced by veteran Tank Williams.

  • LB Vinny Ciurciu (ankle), who contributes on all the special teams, also missed a second consecutive game.

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