Vikings coach Brad Childress said today that he won't announce whether Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels will be the No. 2 quarterback behind Brett Favre until shortly before Sunday's regular-season opener in Cleveland.
"We'll end up declaring that probably and hour-and-a-half before the game," Childress told reporters after a brief practice at Winter Park. "But at least you know who the starter is."
The Vikings find themselves in an interesting situation because Jackson and Rosenfels are both veterans and were competing for the starting job before Favre arrived last month. Last season, for instance, rookie John David Booty served as the third quarterback.
A third quarterback can play in a game but it usually comes under very unfavorable circumstances. The NFL rule states that if the third quarterback is inserted before the fourth quarter, a team's first two quarterbacks cannot be used in the game at any position. That essentially means the third QB is inactive.
"It's not a tough situation and I know last year we had the woe is me with the eight guys that were down [inactive]" on game day, Childress said. "The fact of life is there are going to be eight guys down, there are going to be 45 guys up and that's the next decision that you come to. All of those guys are viable members of our team and at some point and time they will be called on to have to contribute."
Said Rosenfels of possibly being the No. 3 quarterback: "It's been a long time since that's happened. I've been at least a [second QB] for the last four years. This will be my fifth. That's a tough situation. You can never have too many good quarterbacks."
While Childress isn't saying who will be his No. 2 QB, new Browns coach Eric Mangini continues to remain mum on whether Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn will start against the Vikings. Childress, who has kept his starter quiet in the past, said it really isn't that big of deal.
"It doesn't," matter that much, he said. "Schematically, you're going to look at what you've seen. You're going to go back and look at Jets tape [from when Mangini coached there] and see what you've seen and then I know as do our guys that there will be unscouted looks. They certainly haven't showed their whole hand offensively or defensively. But you're just going back and looking at formation-wise where they are putting people. What kind of players they are. It will be more about us deploying than what they do."
Here are a few other notes:
-- Childress said safety Madieu Williams did not practice today because of a stomach virus. Williams actually left the sideline during Friday's game to get an IV after he began feeling sick. The interesting thing was Williams did not play in the game.
-- Jackson stayed after practice to work with punter Chris Kluwe and others on holding for field-goal attempts. Jackson is likely to be the emergency backup in that role in case something happens to Kluwe.
-- Cornerback Asher Allen has switched from No. 30 to No. 21, which had been worn by Marcus McCauley. Allen said that was his number in high school. He said he could not wear No. 21 while playing at Georgia because it was retired.
-- Center Kory Lichtensteiger, whom the Vikings claimed off waivers from Denver on Sunday, will wear No. 67.
-- Bernard Berrian (hamstring) was on the practice field today but Childress declined to say how the wide receiver is coming along.
-- Quarterback John David Booty, who was added to the Vikings' practice squad on Sunday after going through the waiver process, indicated he could have had an opportunity to sign with another team's practice squad but wanted to stay in Minnesota. "I've already got a place here, I've been here for a year and a half and just want to get better at the West Coast offense," he said. "There was really no need for me to go anywhere else even if there was an opportunity. I enjoy it here, I like the coaches and the team. Good things can still happen here."