The Vikings plan on starting Gus Frerotte … if he's healthy enough to play, according to Vikings coach Brad Childress. But that determination could take until later in the week.
Despite the fact Tarvaris Jackson
helped rally the Vikings to a 20-16 victory over the Detroit Lions
on Sunday, coach Brad Childress said Gus Frerotte
remains his starting quarterback.
That's assuming, however, that Frerotte is healthy enough to start.
Frerotte suffered what the Vikings are only calling a "lower back injury" late in the first half at Ford Field and had to be replaced by Jackson. The Vikings trailed 6-3 at halftime and Frerotte had thrown two interceptions against a team that had only two all season entering the game.
Childress was vague Monday when asked who might get the start this weekend at Arizona. "Not sure. We're day to day," he said. "I just left Gus in the locker room. Obviously, (he's) very sore. But he's been sore before. He's looked like that moving around before. So we'll see where he's at when we get to Wednesday."
Jackson, meanwhile, has earned praise for his performance. Benched after the Vikings' lost their first two games of the season, Jackson completed eight of 10 passes for 105 yards with a touchdown and had a 143.8 passer rating. That scoring pass, an 11-yarder to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe
, capped a 90-yard, 11-play drive in the fourth quarter.
"Tarvaris did a great job. A great, great job," Childress said. "We just want to see who will give us the best opportunity to win and obviously health will be a factor in that. We all know that the backup quarterback is usually the most popular guy, although early on I'm not so sure that that would have been the combined assessment here. But whoever gives us the best chance to win when we get to later in the week."
S Darren Sharper said defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams felt vindication for being able to get a victory Sunday after a federal court allowed them to keep playing despite the fact the NFL had suspended them four games apiece for violating its steroid policy. "I think they did and both guys don't want to be a distraction at all," Sharper said. "That's why one thing they said is that they apologized for the fact that it was a distraction. We didn't think it was but they apologized if it was. They just want to play football. That's all they're worried about is being the best two defensive tackles in the league. Today they went out and tried to prove that and they played well."
RB Adrian Peterson was impressed with how Tarvaris Jackson played in relief of Gus Frerotte on Sunday after the veteran suffered a bruised lower back late in the second quarter. "He did a great job stepping in," Peterson said. "I wasn't surprised. I see him time after time in practice making big plays and making good throws and things like that. You never know what's going to happen in a game, so that's why even if you're not starting, your backup has always got to be prepared. He's been doing a great job preparing himself to be able to step in if we needed him. That's what he did (Sunday). He came out and did a great job."
Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams on the Vikings having a one-game lead over Chicago with three games remaining in the regular season: "Three NFC games left, they're all big. I mean, we hold our own destiny. It's in our hands. We win these games, and we're definitely in the playoffs. That's what we've got to take care of. Next week, we've got Arizona, and that's what we've got to focus on."
DE Jared Allen, already playing with a shoulder injury, hurt his left knee when he was blocked low in the first half against the Lions. Allen admitted he thought the injury might be season-ending at first but he was able to continue wearing a sleeve-like brace on the knee. He finished with two sacks and almost certainly won't miss any time.
WR Aundrae Allison was active Sunday after sitting out for the first time this season the previous week against Chicago. Allison did not catch any passes but he did return one kick for 18 yards and also got an opportunity on one punt return. Allison's role has become cloudy in that he isn't used much at receiver and he isn't atop the depth chart at either return position.
RG Anthony Herrera played with a heavy heart Sunday. Herrera missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday after his oldest brother passed away. Herrera returned to the team on Friday and made it clear he wanted to play. He ended up throwing at least three key blocks in the victory and admitted although it was very difficult to play it was what his brother told him to do.
WR Darius Reynaud, who has taken over the Vikings kickoff return man, underwent an MRI on his big toe Monday. Results were not immediately available. Reynaud was injured in Sunday's game at Detroit but continued to play.
S Darren Sharper led the Vikings in tackles for the first time this season, getting eight in the victory over the Lions. He is the third defensive back to lead the team in tackles in a game this season, joining cornerbacks Cedric Griffin (twice) and Antoine Winfield (one).