Bollinger hurt, Johnson struggling as Vikes look for QB

Updated: December 4, 2006, 5:01 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress revealed Monday that backup quarterback Brooks Bollinger suffered a grade two sprain to the AC joint of his left shoulder in Sunday's loss to the Chicago Bears.

Brooks Bollinger
Bollinger

What the first-year coach did not disclose, though, is who will start at quarterback for the slumping Vikings in next Sunday's game at Detroit. And it may not be until later in the week, after Childress deliberates his options and gauges the health of the candidates, that a decision is made.

"We'll look at a lot of things," a noncommital Childress said on Monday.

The Vikings have lost five of their last six games to drop to 5-7, and are in danger of falling out of the wild card chase even in the diluted NFC, where just five of 16 teams own winning records. The Minnesota offense has sputtered, particularly the passing game, and starting quarterback Brad Johnson has only eight touchdown passes and 14 interceptions.

Quarterback
Minnesota Vikings

Profile
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
Att Comp Yds TD Int Rat
399 245 2314 8 14 71.2

Childress reiterated several times this season that he will not tolerate turnovers, and he may be prepared to turn to Bollinger on Sunday, but only if his shoulder responds to treatment.

The four-year veteran, acquired from the New York Jets in a trade this summer, relieved the beleaguered Johnson on Sunday and completed seven of nine passes for 70 yards.

Johnson, 38, has started all 12 games, but the 15-year veteran seems to be eroding as the season wears on, and his lack of arm strength is becoming a more glaring issue. In Sunday's 23-13 loss, Johnson, under heavy pressure from the outset, completed 11 of 26 passes for just 73 yards, with no touchdown passes, four interceptions, and a passer rating of 10.3.

Tarvaris Jackson
Jackson

The other option for Childress is rookie Tarvaris Jackson, a second-round draft choice from Alabama State, who saw brief playing time in one game this season, and who completed three of four passes for 35 yards. Jackson is regarded by some in the organization as the team's quarterback of the future, but Childress may be reluctant to put him into the lineup now, with the Vikings still mathematically in the playoff chase.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.