Injuries Limiting Vikings' Options

The Vikings have a number of starters, at wide receiver and cornerback, that could miss Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers.

Despite the prolonged absences of several Vikings from practices this week, the team has not eliminated any players from Sunday's game. The official injury report lists QB Kelly Holcomb (neck), WR Troy Williamson (personal), CB Antoine Winfield (hamstring) and WR Bobby Wade (knee) as questionable.

Holcomb suffered a whiplash-like injury in last Sunday's game, which he started, and did not participate in any of the Vikings' practices this week, but head coach Brad Childress said "he can be an emergency quarterback for us this week."

On Monday, Childress said that if Tarvaris Jackson was healthy enough, he would be the starting quarterback.

The status of Williamson, who is attending the funeral of a relative, according to Childress, is questionable because Childress said he still hadn't been able to talk to Williamson as of Friday afternoon. The two have only traded a couple of text messages, Childress said.

"The funeral, from my understanding when he left, is on Monday and we play a noon game, so we'll see where he surfaces," Childress said. "But it's certainly an obligation he has to his family and I am going to defer to where he is at with that."

If Wade also can't go, the Vikings would be short on receivers and might be forced to activate one from the practice squad. The absence of both of Wade and Williamson would leave only Sidney Rice, Robert Ferguson and Aundrae Allison available. Joel Filani or, more likely, Martin Nance could be signed from the practice squad.

Ferguson and Allison both have experience in Wade's slot position, and Ferguson is also used to being split out wide.

The absence of Winfield would also complicate things on defense. If he doesn't play, Marcus McCauley would likely start at cornerback and Charles Gordon as the nickel back, leaving the top three cornerbacks in the game each with less than two years of NFL experience. But Winfield is struggling to work through the hamstring issue, Childress said.

"You always listen to the athlete," Childress said. "Those guys are always high competitive guys. He had that bye week to kind of convalesce if you will and treat and he did that. But hamstrings are different and everyone has just got a little something different. Antoine, there we know we have got a half a year left here. We've got eight games to go fully and I don't want him to go out there and hurt himself, but the player is usually the best barometer of that."

Winfield was limited in his participation in Wednesday's practiced but did not participate on Thursday or Friday.

Wade, on the other hand, did not participate on Wednesday or Thursday, but was limited on Friday.

Also on the Vikings' injury report, T Ryan Cook, QB Tarvaris Jackson, DE Erasmus James, S Dwight Smith, LB Vinny Ciurciu and DE Brian Robison are all listed as probable.

For the Chargers, center Nick Hardwick (foot) is out, giving way to former Viking Cory Withrow to make a return to the Metrodome as a starter. WR Craig Davis (ankle) and LB Shaun Phillips (groin) are questionable. CB Quentin Jammer (hamstring), LB Matt Wilhelm (ankle) and DT Ryon Bingham (shoulder) are probable.

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