QB Or Not QB -- That is the Question

Tarvaris Jackson was out Sunday with a broken index finger in his throwing hand. Kelly Holcomb was sent to the sideline after having his head slammed into the Metrodome turf. As the Vikings begin preparation for the Chargers Sunday, the question must be asked -- who will be the starter and who will be Nos. 2 and 3?

Where now?

Brad Childress has spent much of the 2007 season being coy about his quarterback choice from one week to the next. Will it be Tarvaris Jackson? Will it be Kelly Holcomb? Now he faces an even tougher decision. As the Vikings prepare for the suddenly rejuvenated Chargers this week, will it be Brooks Bollinger?

Bollinger got the call in the second half after Holcomb was forced out of the game with a neck stinger when sacked by Eagles DE Juqua Thomas. What could best described as a move similar to a bulldog maneuver in professional wrestling, Holcomb's head was driven with force into the Metrodome turf. He suffered the type of injury whiplash victims endure and said for a few terrifying seconds, he had no feeling and then a burning sensation – often what victims of neck or spinal injuries will report. The numbness subsided after a few seconds, but the stiffness in his neck was such that he needed assistance to remove his shoulder pads and was expected to be fitted with a neck brace before an MRI this morning.

It is likely that Holcomb will be out at least a week if not longer because the NFL has taken a much harder stance in neck and head injuries. While Jackson continues to try to improve with a broken finger on his throwing hand, Bollinger, who completed seven of 10 passes in his relief stint Sunday, would appear to be the only quarterback on the team who is 100 percent physically.

One can only imagine that it will be another cat and mouse game this week as the Vikings prepare for the Chargers. Who will be the Vikings starting QB Sunday? We'll just have to wait an follow along with our new favorite soap opera "As the Laces Turn."

* With the loss, the Vikings are now three games behind the Lions and, depending on how the Packers fare tonight at Denver, will be three or four games behind the Packers.
* We have to give a begrudging tip of the hat to the Lions and QB Jon Kitna, who said the Lions were easily a 10-win team this year. Those seemed like the words of a lunatic, since the Lions had lost 10 or more games every year since 2001. But the team has already surpassed its 2006 win total and with just one more win in its final nine games, will equal its best record of the new century.
* The Vikings once again looked strong on their opening drive of the game, moving all the way down the field for a touchdown from Holcomb to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. After that? In 10 drives, the Vikings had six punts, three field goals and had the ball when time ran out on the game clock.
* Donovan McNabb was the third Vikings opposing QB to throw for 300 yards in the last four games.
* One of the big early turning points in Sunday's game came when the Vikings attempted an onside kick in the first quarter. It caught the Eagles off-guard and the Vikings recovered – sending the fans into a frenzy and raising eyebrows among even their harshest press box critics. But on the first play after the recovery, Holcomb was sacked by DE Trent Cole and any tide of momentum the Vikings had gained vanished quickly.
* Mike Tice was known for being a guy who never met a challenge flag he didn't like. There were times that Tice would reach for the flag with media members who could see replays on press box televisions, saying "No, no, no, no!" as he reached for and subsequently launched his red hankie about 30 yards. But even Tice would have to cringe at the challenge the Vikings made on the opening kickoff of the second half. Eagles kicker David Akers hit a directional knuckleball to keep Adrian Peterson from getting a chance to get a running start. The ball bounced end over end in the left corner where Peterson tracked it down. It was clear to just about everyone that Peterson was concerned about letting the ball roll and either go out of bounds or into the end zone. He appeared unconvinced it would go out of bounds and picked it up. But when he went to plant his first to start his return, his left foot skidded on the turf and went out of bounds. He stood there looking in dismay with one foot in bounds and one out. But for some reason Childress challenged the ruling, saying Peterson was trying to establish his left foot out of bounds, which would make the kick out of bounds and give the Vikings the ball on the 40-yard line. While technically, Childress was right – the NFL rules say that a ball is out of bounds if it touches a player who is out of bounds even if the ball is still in the field of play, this play clearly didn't qualify and the Vikings lost a challenge they could have used to stop the clock on the Eagles' final drive, in which they were able to milk the clock down inside of 30 seconds with the Vikings being powerless to stop it.
* Marcus McCauley was replaced as the nickel cornerback Sunday by Charles Gordon, who was the special teams captain for the game.
* Right tackle Ryan Cook suffered what was diagnosed as a separated shoulder in the third quarter Sunday. He returned to action in the fourth quarter after being replaced by Marcus Johnson, but was scheduled to have a MRI today.
* Bobby Wade was also injured Sunday, hyperextending his knee making a fourth-quarter reception.
* Safety Eric Frampton, who was signed last week off waivers from the Lions, saw extended action on the Vikings special teams.

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