Grizzled QBs become starters again

More than 10 years ago, Gus Frerotte and Kerry Collins were in the Pro Bowl together. All these years and teams later, they will be facing each other as starters again.

Sunday will be a strange little reunion of sorts as the Vikings and Tennessee Titans meet at LP Field. Both teams are going to have elder statesmen quarterbacks on the field in Gus Frerotte and Kerry Collins, who have each taken a long, winding road to get to this point.

"Battle of the blue-hairs I guess," Collins said this week of the matchup of the two old-timers. "I'm sure Gus feels the same way, but I feel like we are both fortunate to still play at this point in our careers. I think both of us still have good football left so it's nice to be in there for sure."

Flash back to the end of the 1995 season. The Vikings are still owned by the Gang of 10 and fans are still a few years away from meeting people like Randy Moss, Matt Birk and Red McCombs. The annual Pro Bowl game is being played in Hawaii on Feb. 4, 1996 and the NFC has three quarterbacks making the trip. One is Brett Favre.

So who were the other two? Collins and Frerotte. Both of them have bounced around the league since then, jumping from team to team whenever a starter would go down or need to be benched. Both players have bounced around the country to find new jobs. And now, after injuries and ineffectiveness put both Vince Young and Tarvaris Jackson on the sidelines, Collins and Frerotte will face one another Sunday.

Like Collins, Frerotte didn't mind joking about their age as they enter this game.


In a game that clearly belongs to young men, there is a spot for guys like Collins, Frerotte, Kurt Warner and Brad Johnson. As long as a QB has the sharp mind to read defenses, there will always be a place on rosters for the veteran backup, who, in the blink of an eye, can become the veteran starter.

FRIDAY NOTES

  • The Vikings welcomed Madieu Williams back to the practice field Thursday after missing almost two months of time with a neck injury. While there is no hard-and-fast timetable on when Williams will see the field for game action.

  • The Vikings injury report Thursday included Williams (neck), limited participation and full participation from Adrian Peterson (hamstring), Sidney Rice (knee), Ray Edwards (shoulder), Vinny Ciurciu (knee), Chester Taylor (foot) and Artis Hicks (elbow).

  • The Titans have several key players on their injury report. Four players did not participate at all in practice – QB Vince Young (knee, hamstring), CB Nick Harper (ankle), RB Chris Henry (illness) and WR Justin McCareins (groin). Running back LenDale White was added to the injury report Thursday with a shoulder injury. He was limited during practice.

  • Even though he has played just 17 games in his pro career, with his next 100-yard game, Adrian Peterson will tie Michael Bennett for third all-time on the Vikings 100-yard rushing list with nine – a testament to how few true game-breaking running backs the team has had in its history.

  • Scott Linehan's decision to bench Marc Bulger isn't sitting well with the Rams players. The former Vikings offensive coordinator and current St. Louis head coach made the decision to bench Bulger and go with veteran backup Trent Green this week. Prior to the 2007 season, Bulger signed a massive $65 million contract.

  • If not for a change in coordinators with the Rams, had things remained as they are, Frerotte would have been the guy replacing Bulger, not Green.

  • Former Vikings guard Toniu Fonoti and his wife are facing fraud charges after being accused of stealing $55,000 from Carolina Panthers teammate Ma'ake Kemoeatu. Fonoti and his wife U'ilani were supposed to use the seed money to find entertainment venues in his home state of Hawaii, but instead simply kept the money.

  • Among the names being thrown around in the Detroit media as a potential replacement for Matt Millen is the Vikings' Rick Spielman.

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