The Vikings still haven't made it official, but Tarvaris Jackson
is expected to start at quarterback Sunday at Arizona
in place of the injured Gus Frerotte
Frerotte did not practice for a second consecutive day Thursday as Jackson did all the work with the first team. Coach Brad Childress said Frerotte did do some throwing on the side and refused to rule out the veteran.
"I'm not ruling him out of anything this weekend," Childress said of Frerotte. "He'll give me feedback as he goes and he has. ... He's much more comfortable. Just the fact that he can drop back and tork a football, throwing them in the nets over there. That's a plus. He's gotten a little bit better every day and the reps have been good for Tarvaris."
Frerotte suffered a lower-back injury late in the first half last Sunday in the Vikings' 20-16 victory at Detroit. Jackson, who was benched as the team's starter after the first two games, replaced Frerotte and led the Vikings back from a 6-3 halftime deficit.
While the Vikings have yet to reveal any further information about Frerotte's injury, he reportedly suffered a broken bone in his back that will sideline him for one or two weeks.
The Vikings likely won't announce the starter until game day, but that isn't surprising considering Childress has tried to keep everyone, including his opponent, in the dark before on such issues.
"I wouldn't say it's official yet," Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "Gus came in feeling better today and he's making a push to still try and make it. We think he has the ability as a veteran to do it on fewer reps so he's going to make a push and in the meantime that he's not out there, Tarvaris will continue to go."
Jackson completed eight of 10 passes for 105 yards with a touchdown and a 143.8 passer rating.
DTs Kevin Williams and Pat Williams could be set to play the rest of the season after a federal judge extended his injunction against the NFL's four-game suspensions levied upon five players in the StarCaps case. A hearing may not take place for months now.
DE Jared Allen sat out practice Wednesday and Thursday after injuring his knee on Sunday in Detroit. Allen, already playing with a shoulder injury, hurt the 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.
RT Artis Hicks did not practice Wednesday or Thursday because of an elbow injury that kept him out of the Nov. 30 game against Chicago. Hicks played the entire game at Detroit last Sunday but his status for this weekend's game at Arizona is uncertain. If Cook can't start, Ryan Cook will get the nod in his place.
WR/KR Darius Reynaud did not practice Wednesday or Thursday because of a toe injury suffered on a kickoff return Sunday at Detroit.
DE Brian Robison, who had arthroscopic knee surgery after the Vikings' victory over Chicago on Nov. 30, did limited work in practice on Thursday. His status for Sunday's game isn't certain.
DT Ellis Wyms was absent from the beginning of practice for family reasons Thursday but he did arrive in time to take part in several drills.
The Vikings haven't made it official yet, but with Gus Frerotte still sidelined in practice it seems very likely that Tarvaris Jackson will start on Sunday in Arizona.
With Gus Frerotte still sidelined in practice it seems very likely that Tarvaris Jackson will start.