Broncos QB Beuerlein out 4-5 weeks with broken finger

Updated: October 19, 2003, 10:17 PM ET

MINNEAPOLIS - Already without starting quarterback Jake Plummer, the Denver Broncos also will be without backup Steve Beuerlein for at least the next month.

Beuerlein will be sidelined for at least four to five weeks after suffering a broken right pinkie late in the third quarter of Sunday's 28-20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Starting his second straight game in place of Plummer - who is expected to miss at least a month with a broken foot - the 38-year-old Beuerlein struggled against the Vikings.

Beuerlein completed just 9-of-19 passes for 119 yards and three interceptions before leaving late in the third quarter with his injury.

"We will need another quarterback," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "Steve's finger is broken. He will probably be out four or five weeks, maybe longer."

For now, it appears Danny Kanell will be Shanahan's starting quarterback.

After Kanell replaced Beuerlein, he nearly rallied the Broncos by completing 12-of-18 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.

Kanell threw a one-yard TD pass to running back Mike Anderson with 6:45 left to pull the Broncos within 28-20. In the final minute, he drove Denver to the Minnesota 30 but had a fourth-down pass batted down at the line of scrimmage.

Kanell, 29, signed with the Broncos in June after being out of football for two years but was released on September 1 when Shanahan decided to keep just two quarterbacks.

Plummer's injury made it necessary to add a third quarterback, and Kanell was re-signed on September 17.

Kanell last played in 2000 for Atlanta, starting one of five games. He spent three years with the New York Giants and went 7-2-1 as a starter in 1997 when they won the NFC East title.

In his five-year career, Kanell has completed 52 percent of his passes (450-of-871) for 4,791 yards, 29 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.

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