Fractured Finger Could Sideline Jackson

Head coach Brad Childress isn't benching quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, but a fractured finger suffered on Sunday just might. That might not be such a big loss for the Vikings.

It turns out that Tarvaris Jackson's miserable statistical performance Sunday against Dallas wasn't his only problem.

Coach Brad Childress revealed Monday that his quarterback suffered a fractured index finger on his right (throwing) hand in the Vikings' 24-14 loss.

It seems likely that Jackson will sit out Sunday's game against Philadelphia at the Metrodome. If that is the case, Kelly Holcomb will start for the third time this season. Jackson missed two games in September because of a strained groin.

Jackson was wearing a splint after suffering what is known as an avulsion fracture. That is an injury to the bone in the place where a tendon or ligament attaches. Childress said team medical personnel will evaluate Jackson's injury after he goes through a throwing session Tuesday.

"The doctor said I can play with it, so it's just about me being able to throw the football," Jackson said.

This, however, could be a good chance for Childress to sit his struggling quarterback and not risk having him fail in front of the home crowd Sunday. Jackson hit on only six of 19 passes for 72 yards against the Cowboys and had a 44.2 passer rating. A sideline confrontation between Jackson and his head coach did not help matters.

In four starts, Jackson has completed only 45.9 percent of his passes (45 of 98) for 537 yards. His 48.7 rating leaves him 36th in the NFL through Sunday's games.

Childress was asked numerous questions Monday about Jackson's development, including how he weighs trying to bring along an inexperienced quarterback (six career starts) with the need to win games.

"We have that discussion all the time," Childress said. "It is a fine line. You want to win football games. Our team needs to have confidence in the guy that's playing underneath the center.

"(Jackson) needs to get those looks, but by the same token, you don't want to sacrifice those wins. And you want a guy that gives you the best chance to win. You're evaluating that with a young guy week to week."

It's not as if the move back to Holcomb would answer all of the Vikings' problems. He lost both of his starts, to Kansas City and Green Bay, in September. Holcomb, though, certainly should know the Eagles' personnel. He spent training camp with the team before being traded to the Vikings late in the preseason.

NOTES

  • Rookie RB Adrian Peterson on the fact he and veteran Chester Taylor continue to share playing time: "Being a running back, you always want the ball, but having a guy like Chester Taylor that can run the routes, also, like I've said before many times, two rushers are better than one." Peterson had 12 carries and Taylor had 10 on Sunday.

  • K Ryan Longwell tried a 48-yard field goal in the third quarter Sunday only to have it blocked and returned 62 yards by Dallas for the go-ahead touchdown. "It felt like a normal rhythm, a normal trajectory and a normal sound," Longwell said. "That's all we can go off of until we see the film. It was 48 (yards). The ball carries really well here, so it was a normal field goal for us. Even the millisecond it left my foot, I felt we were taking the lead. We pride ourselves on our field goal unit being pretty stout and getting the job done. It was disappointing as a unit to turn the game around like that, especially when they return it."

  • LB Ben Leber on the loss to Dallas: "I think it's a little cause for concern. Obviously we got exploited a little bit. But ultimately, we hope it's a flash in the pan, that we can come back next week and do better. ... It stings just a little bit. We felt like we had them at halftime (when the Vikings led 14-7). I felt like we had the momentum coming back. I felt like they capitalized on our mistakes. We just couldn't get the ball back, and ultimately, we lost the game."

  • S Dwight Smith will be evaluated after sitting out Sunday's game because of a hamstring injury. Tank Williams got the start in Smith's place against the Cowboys.

  • LB Vinny Ciurciu (high ankle sprain) did not play Sunday, and his status for this week's game against the Eagles has not yet been determined.

  • FB Naufahu Tahi (MCL sprain) sat out at Dallas, and it's not certain if he will be able to return to play against Philadelphia.

  • DE Erasmus James (shoulder) did not play Sunday and has appeared in only one game this season. His status for this week is uncertain.

  • RB Mewelde Moore was active for only the third time this season on Sunday. He replaced FB Naufahu Tahi on special teams and served as the No. 3 running back. He did not carry the football.

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