Broncos Beuerlein knocked out with injured finger

Updated: October 19, 2003, 7:14 PM ET

MINNEAPOLIS -- Denver quarterback Steve Beuerlein dislocated the pinkie finger on his throwing hand against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday and will be out three to four weeks.

Beuerlein was filling in for starter Jake Plummer, who is expected to be out for another three weeks with a broken foot.

Third-stringer Danny Kanell relieved Beuerlein in the third quarter. Beuerlein's finger was bent sideways when he fell to the turf on a hit by Kevin Williams. Beuerlein's right hand was in a cast after the Broncos' 28-20 loss.

"I've never had an injury like this," he said. "My hand was pinned under me. I felt terrible. I felt like my whole finger was bent back, which we found it was."

Beuerlein was 9-for-19 for 119 yards and three interceptions. He was sacked five times.

Kanell, whose last NFL appearance was with Atlanta in 2000, nearly rallied the Broncos from an 18-point third-quarter deficit. Kanell, who played in the Arena Football League last season and minor league baseball in 2001, went 12-of-18 for 104 yards and a touchdown.

Down to just one healthy quarterback, Denver coach Mike Shanahan said the team will have to sign a free agent this week.

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