Short at QB, Vikings sign veteran Koy Detmer

Updated: November 6, 2007, 7:29 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

With only one healthy quarterback on the roster and unsure about the availability of starter Tarvaris Jackson for Sunday's game, the Minnesota Vikings signed veteran free agent Koy Detmer to a one-year contract on Tuesday.

Koy Detmer

Detmer

A 10-year veteran, Detmer auditioned for coaches and team personnel officials earlier in the day. The Vikings also worked out former Carolina Panthers backup Chris Weinke but opted for Detmer, in part because of his familiarity with the offense.

Detmer, 34, played his entire 10-year career in Philadelphia, where Minnesota coach Brad Childress was the onetime offensive coordinator. The offensive system used by the Vikings is similar to the one in which Detmer played with the Eagles.

Jackson suffered a concussion in Sunday's victory over the San Diego Chargers and his status for this week's game at Green Bay is uncertain. His primary backup, Kelly Holcomb, who has started three games because of previous injuries to Jackson, is himself recovering from a neck injury.

Childress said Monday that Jackson passed four of five concussion tests, but would still need further examination this week before deciding if he could play against the Packers.

Holcomb was scheduled to throw with a helmet on for the first time on Tuesday since being injured while being thrown to the turf against the Eagles.

If neither Jackson nor Holcomb can play against the Packers, five-year veteran Brooks Bollinger would get his first start of the season. Detmer, who should be able to pick up the offense quickly, would probably then serve as the backup.

For much of his 10-season tenure, Detmer was the backup to Donovan McNabb, and he also served as the Eagles' holder on place kicks. He was released in 2006 but then was re-signed for the playoffs. Detmer was not in an NFL training camp this summer.

Detmer has completed 184 of 354 career passes for 1,994 yards, with 10 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions, for a 61.2 efficiency rating. As a rookie, the former Colorado standout played in eight games, starting five, and registered 181 pass attempts. Since that 1998 rookie campaign, he has never thrown more than 56 passes in a season.

Contract details on Detmer's deal were not immediately available. But it is believed to be a one-year contract for the NFL minimum base salary, prorated over the rest of the season.

To make room for Detmer, the team released cornerback Ronyell Whitaker.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer with ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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