In a move that has been anticipated much of the week, Minnesota Vikings backup quarterback Kelly Holcomb will start in place of the injured Tarvaris Jackson on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, sources said late Saturday night.
The game will mark the third start of the season for Holcomb, who spent the offseason and much of training camp with the Eagles, before being traded to the Vikings for a sixth-round choice in the 2009 draft.
Jackson broke the index finger on his right (passing) hand in last week's loss to Dallas, and was limited in practice all week. Swelling in the finger subsided very little during the week and it was difficult for Jackson to grip the ball. In addition, Jackson is still slowed a bit by the strained groin that sidelined him for two games earlier in the season.
Holcomb, 34, started against Kansas City on Sept. 23 and against Green Bay on Sept. 30, both losses, when Jackson suffered the groin injury. The 11-year veteran has completed 35 of 67 passes for 427 yards, with one touchdown pass and one interception for an efficiency rating of 70.9.
For his career, Holcomb has started in 23 of his 36 appearances with Indianapolis (1996-2000), Cleveland (2001-2004) and Buffalo (2005-2006). He has 558 completions in 877 attempts for 5,828 yards, with 38 touchdown passes and 38 interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 79.2.
He was dealt by Buffalo to the Eagles in March, along with linebacker Takeo Spikes, then subsequently traded to the Vikings.
It is expected that Jackson will be the No. 3 quarterback for Sunday's game. Veteran backup Brooks Bollinger would move into the No. 2 slot, behind Holcomb.
A second-round pick in the 2006 draft, Jackson is 2-2 in his four starts this season, but has struggled much of the time. The former Alabama State star, who started two games at the end of his rookie campaign, has completed 45 of his 98 pass attempts for 537 yards, with two touchdown passes and five interceptions, and a passer rating of 48.7.
Jackson, 24, has yet to throw for more than 166 yards this season. He has two games in which he completed fewer than 40 percent of his attempts, and two outings in which he registered a passer rating of under 50.0.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.