Childress: Jackson the Starter if Healthy

Tarvaris Jackson (Harry How/Getty Images)

Tarvaris Jackson's strained groin may not heal enough to allow him to play Sunday in Kansas City, but if it does he will be the starter, according to head coach Brad Childress. That, despite a bad showing Sunday in Detroit.

Tarvaris Jackson's four interceptions and 26.4 rating in the Vikings' 20-17 overtime loss to Detroit aren't going to get the young quarterback benched. At least not for now.

But a strained groin might.

Coach Brad Childress said Monday that Jackson was "beat up pretty good" after the defeat. This was confirmed when Jackson hobbled gingerly through the Vikings locker room during the media access period on his way to get treatment. Jackson did not stop to comment.

If Jackson can't play this Sunday against the Chiefs in Kansas City, odds are good that veteran Kelly Holcomb will get the start. Holcomb was acquired late in training camp from Philadelphia and has been the Vikings' third quarterback for the first two games.

That has left Brooks Bollinger as Jackson's backup. Bollinger, who had a poor training camp, likely didn't help himself when he replaced an injured Jackson in overtime at Ford Field and muffed a center exchange with Matt Birk.

Detroit's Shaun Rogers recovered at midfield and the Lions quickly drove down the field. Jason Hanson's 37-yard field goal gave the Lions the victory.

Bollinger's miscue continued a day of them from the Vikings quarterback position. Jackson completed 17 of 33 passes for 166 yards with no touchdowns as he dropped to 1-3 as a starter in the NFL.

Nonetheless, Childress made it clear that Jackson remains the starter if he's healthy.

"I feel like he is more than ready," for this role, Childress said. "It is just a matter of him taking care of the football. I see him make a lot of good plays out there, and I see him see a lot of things and get us into the right place. But that is part of that learning curve and you can't do those things with the football and put your team in that situation. He knows that."

NOTES

  • Safety Dwight Smith didn't mince words when talking about the Vikings' loss to the Lions: "You can't go on the road and kick yourself in the foot," he said. "Too many turnovers. Any time you go on the road and do that ... I mean, we were lucky to be in the game at the end. Because you go on the road and have 12 penalties (and) five turnovers, it's going to kill you every time."

  • Backup quarterback Brooks Bollinger was plenty hard on himself for fumbling an overtime snap that led to the Lions' winning field goal, but coach Brad Childress defended the veteran. "That is a tough situation," Childress said. "The backup quarterback gets minimum reps, it's not like he's standing there warming up in the bullpen. He gets to spit in his hand, run his arm around one time and that's it. That's the role that they play and that's why they're professionals." Bollinger had replaced Tarvaris Jackson, who left the game because of a slight groin injury.

  • Ryan Longwell blamed no one but himself after his 52-yard field-goal attempt hit the left upright with two seconds left and the score tied in the fourth quarter Sunday: "Obviously it's a kick I feel I should make. A great snap, a great hold and a great job by our team getting in range. The game shouldn't have gone to overtime."

  • RB Chester Taylor's status for the Vikings' next game against Kansas City hasn't been determined. Taylor missed the Lions loss because of a hip injury. Childress said Taylor's status will be addressed on Wednesday.

  • WR Troy Williamson left Sunday's game in the second quarter because of a hamstring spasm but is expected to be fine, according to Childress.

  • Smith had to leave Sunday's game briefly became of cramping but was able to return. He was replaced by veteran Tank Williams.

  • S Darren Sharper, who had two interceptions and also forced a fumble against the Lions, had to leave because of cramping as well. He returned after getting an IV.

  • Rookie CB Marcus McCauley, who plays in the nickel defense, was on the field for 60-plus snaps Sunday against Detroit as the Lions spent much of the game in multiple receiver sets. "At times, I thought he was physical in coming up and making tackles," Childress said. "I thought he was soft a couple times in coverage, which you're going to see typically when you face good wide receivers like that. But it wasn't all bad and it wasn't all good, just a bunch of things that he can learn from being the first time in that arena against an excellent group of wide receivers."

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