Vikings searching for QBs with status of Favre, Jackson uncertain
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Brett Favre's season may not be over yet, but the Minnesota Vikings were in the process of contacting veteran quarterbacks on Tuesday as they contemplated how to move forward with injuries to their top two players at the position.
An ultrasound on Tuesday morning revealed no nerve damage in Favre's sore neck and throwing shoulder, leaving it Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier hopeful the 41-year-old will return to the lineup as soon as Monday night against Chicago.
However, Favre has experienced numbness for weeks in his right hand, which was swollen and discolored as he sat out Monday's loss to the New York Giants in Detroit. And his replacement, Tarvaris Jackson, not only struggled against the Giants but also suffered a turf toe injury that has his status for this week in doubt.
That leaves only rookie Joe Webb, who played in relief on Monday but still is coming back a hamstring injury that cut into his practice time last week. So, the Vikings at minimum need to find someone with playing experience to serve as insurance in case Favre and/or Jackson aren't available against the Bears.
"We've had a list of about eight different names that we're going through, just trying to determine which guy best fits us at this stage," Frazier said. "Because it's probably going to be a guy who may very well find himself playing in that Monday night ballgame. So, through that list, we're just trying to determine which guy can help us."
Frazier declined to comment directly on a ProFootballTalk.com report that the Vikings are interested in Patrick Ramsey, the 31-year-old journeyman who hasn't played since a three-throw cameo with Denver in 2008.
Former Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper, who played this fall with the United Football League's Sacramento Mountain Lions, isn't on the list, according to Frazier.
NFL sources on Tuesday indicated the Vikings are looking for a quarterback who knows the West Coast offense, taking the likes of former Arizona quarterback Josh McCown out of the mix. Nor has the team shown interest in 40-year-old Jeff Garcia, another UFL veteran who has extensive experience in the West Coast offense, sources said.
Frazier acknowledged the team has "got to, move pretty quickly," with practice set to resume on Thursday morning.
Asked whether he's looking for someone who could start against the Bears or a backup, Frazier said it "probably depends on that guy's awareness of what we do. Preferably a backup. You'd rather have a guy who's been with you starting the game. He's used to the terminology. He's used to the way we're doing things. Hopefully, it won't come to sign a guy and having to start him on Monday night."
Plan A remains getting Favre back in action, despite rampant speculation the end of his consecutive-games streak on Monday might also spell the end of his season, if not his career.
Frazier said the team is giving no consideration to placing Favre on injured reserve, noting that pain in the shoulder is lessening and the 20th-year veteran wants to return -- even with the Vikings eliminated from the playoff chase at 5-8.
"He wanted to play last night," Frazier said. "He wants to help this team win, and hopefully that'll be the case this weekend."
Whether that happens apparently will revolve solely on how Favre feels. Frazier said he wasn't sure what tests revealed about the source of numbness that prevented Favre from even attempting a pregame throwing session in Detroit.
"Whatever that was, they've ascertained that it's nothing that could keep him from maybe participating, depending on his pain tolerance," Frazier said.
Jackson's status appears to be in equal doubt, with Frazier ruling him out for Thursday's practice and noting turf toe is "a difficult injury, particularly when you're a skill position guy like he is. So, we'll see what happens with that."
Webb only would get the start if Favre and Jackson both are sidelined, Frazier said, making clear the team isn't thinking ahead to 2011, for which the rookie sixth-round pick is the only quarterback the Vikings have under contract.
"He hasn't had a lot of practice reps, including last week," Frazier said of Webb, who completed 2 of 5 passes over three stints at quarterback against the Giants.
"We didn't know last week right up until Friday if he would be available, so it wouldn't be the ideal situation if he had to start the game on Monday night. But if that's the case, he's be ready for it and we'd do whatever we've got to do to get him prepared."
The Vikings also have quarterback R.J. Archer on the practice squad, but he's an undrafted rookie who only rejoined the team last week after being cut before training camp. Receiver Greg Camarillo would have been the emergency quarterback against the Giants, Frazier said.
Players were not made available to reporters.