Patrick Reusse: And returning to the lineup, an oft-wounded QB

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 12, 2007 - 10:35 PM

The Purple still sees good things from Tarvaris Jackson, but he has to last longer in games to do them.

There are a couple of things to make clear here, in regards to what Vikings coach Brad Childress had to say about quarterback Tarvaris Jackson during his Monday media session.

First, Childress did not say Jackson was a China doll. He merely raised it as a possibility.

Second, this was a reference to the historic fragility of China dolls, and not to that country's ongoing efforts to poison the youth of America with imported toys.

Jackson will return to the lineup Sunday against Oakland. That means he has recovered from a concussion, Jackson's fourth injury in 1½ seasons with the Purple.

Jackson suffered this latest injury Nov. 4 against San Diego.

Childress was asked this question Monday: "How much do you factor in that he may be injury-prone when you make a decision if he's your guy?"

The coach formulated his answer for a moment, then said: "You ask yourself, 'Is this just one particularly bad year? Is it the fact he is a China doll?' Somewhere you have to have some durability and resilience."

Jackson injured a knee in practice before ever playing a game as a rookie in 2006. He underwent arthroscopic surgery. He opened this season as the No. 1 quarterback and has made five of nine starts. He's completed only three of those five starts.

He missed two starts because of a groin injury, one because of a finger injury and Sunday's game in Green Bay because of a concussion.

Monday's headline was that Adrian Peterson had a tear in a ligament that will not require surgery. The subhead was Childress planned to go back to Jackson as his quarterback.

"I kind of erred on the side of caution with Tarvaris," Childress said. "It wasn't that he couldn't practice last week, but we started Brooks [Bollinger].

"It's still my commitment to want to continue to develop Tarvaris. I do feel like coming out of training camp, he was the best quarterback. So, we probably would end up being back with Tarvaris."

The only item that could change that would be if, say, Jackson goes to the barber shop this week and suffers an excruciating nick.

A few minutes after putting Jackson back in the lineup, Childress uttered "China doll," causing his media audience to perk up.

Question: "Is there a growing concern that maybe Jackson is a China doll?"

The coach answered quickly: "Not from my standpoint, no."

Jackson has been overmatched during most of his playing time this season. This has caused many of us on the outside to declare: "That young man is never going to be a capable NFL quarterback."

That's opinion, not fact. What we know for sure is Jackson suffers from the accelerated timeline in this salary-cap age.

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