Culpepper misses practice again

Updated: October 2, 2003, 5:10 PM ET

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Daunte Culpepper missed his second straight practice Thursday, increasing the probability that Gus Frerotte will start this weekend when undefeated Minnesota visits Atlanta.

The Vikings (4-0) have a bye next weekend, which would give Culpepper more time to heal after breaking three small bones -- another one was partially fractured -- in his lower back Sept. 21 against Detroit.

Coach Mike Tice had said that Frerotte would start against the Falcons (1-3) on Sunday if Culpepper couldn't go through a full practice Thursday.

Frerotte threw four touchdown passes in a victory last week over San Francisco that resulted in a near-perfect 157.2 quarterback rating.

Frerotte (128.2) and Culpepper (108.0) are the top two rated passers in the NFC.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index