Brett Favre's streak of 297 consecutive regular-season starts came to end Monday night when a sprained sternoclavicular joint in his throwing shoulder kept him out of his first game since 1992. Tarvaris Jackson made his first start since 2008, but he was injured, too, suffering from turf toe.
In his place, rookie Joe Webb got eight snaps, according to interim head coach Leslie Frazier, and the Vikings are looking at a list of about eight quarterbacks as they search for a replacement if necessary.
"We don't know, so we'll have to have a list of names that we can pick and choose from in case either (Favre or Jackson) is not available, because right now Joe is the most healthy quarterback and he's coming off a hamstring. So, yeah, we'll have to take a look," Frazier said.
Pro Football Talk reported that Patrick Ramsey is one of the options the team is considering, but Frazier didn't get into specific names.
Frazier said Monday night that placing Favre on injured reserve was a possibility, but an ultrasound Tuesday determined that there was no nerve damage in the shoulder and neck area and he's holding out hope of playing again this season, maybe even Monday night.
"He had an ultrasound today just to check some of the nerve area in the shoulder and the neck and it was negative," Frazier said. "We'll see how he feels as the week goes on and just try to monitor that and hopefully it will get better for him as the week goes on."
Frazier said Jackson's turf toe would put his availability in jeopardy.
"That's a difficult injury, particularly when you're a skill-position guy like he is. So we'll see what happens with that," Frazier said.
While Frazier sounded more optimistic that Favre could practice on Thursday when the Vikings resume their work week than Jackson, the coach said Webb would start only if the two quarterbacks in front of him aren't able to play.
"Only if Brett and Tarvaris are definitely out would we go in that direction. If that's the case, yes," Frazier said. "Other than that, we're going to give one of those guys who gives us the best chance to win between Brett and Tarvaris the starting nod. So that's how we would approach it."
"… It wouldn't be the ideal situation if he had to start the game on Monday night. But if that's the case, he'd be ready for it and we'd do whatever we've got to do to get him prepared. But you just have to know that he hasn't had a lot of snaps as a quarterback."
With Favre inactive at Detroit against the New York Giants on Monday night and Jackson hurt, receiver Greg Camarillo would have been the man under center if Webb had been hurt.
All the certainty leaves open the possibility – although remote – that the Vikings could sign a quarterback this week who would start next Monday night against the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears. Chalk it up as one more interesting development in a season filled with the unexpected in Minnesota.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
Want more in-depth coverage on your favorite NFL team? Click here and get started today.