Without a Pro Bowl quarterback since Dan Marino retired in 1999,
the Dolphins acquired Culpepper - a three-time Pro Bowler -
from the Vikings in March for a second-round pick.
One of five quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 1999
draft, Culpepper became the Vikings' starter in 2000 and
developed into one of the NFL's best quarterbacks.
However, last season Culpepper threw for just six touchdowns
with 12 interceptions in seven games before he tore the ACL, MCL
and PCL in his right knee in an October 30 game at Carolina.
Culpepper's value to the Vikings diminished when veteran
quarterback Brad Johnson led the Vikings to a 7-2 record the
rest of the way.
Not fully recovered from his knee injury, Culpepper played in
the first four games for the Dolphins before being replaced by
Harrington as the starter.
Culpepper has continued to rehabilitate his knee, although it is
uncertain if he will return this season.
The injury to Culpepper and inconsistent play from the offensive
line was a major reason why the Dolphins lost six of their
first seven games.
But the Dolphins have rebounded in the last two weeks by handing
Chicago its first loss and posting a 13-10 win over Kansas City
Ronnie Brown has been a key for the Dolphins in the last two
games, rushing for 157 and 89 yards on 54 carries. But now he
faces a Vikings defense which allows 66.6 yards per game on the
ground to rank first in the league.
Harrington will have his homecoming when Miami visits Detroit on
After getting off to a 4-2 start under first-year coach Brad
Childress, the Vikings have lost three straight games.
The big problem for the Vikings has been on offense which has
managed just three touchdowns during the skid.
Johnson has been a major reason for the offensive struggles. He
has just one touchdown pass with five interceptions and three
lost fumbles in the last three games.
Last week, the Vikings were dissected by Brett Favre in a
23-17 loss to Green Bay. Favre threw for 347 yards and two
The Minnesota Vikings go on the road, after three straight losses, to face the Miami Dolphins, who have improved their play with two wins against good football teams.
Neither team has much of a chance for a playoff spot, but the loser of this contest will need to look towards the 2007 season. The Vikings had been an efficient offensive unit with a dominating defense, but have not been able to get on track since the beating they took at home vs. the Patriots. Look for a hardnosed game between two desperate teams hanging on to slim hopes of postseason play.