Injured RB Taylor practices; ability to play still doubtful

  • Article by: JUDD ZULGAD and KEVIN SEIFERT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 8, 2006 - 10:46 PM

Chester Taylor did some work in practice for the first time this week on Friday, but the Vikings running back remains doubtful for Sunday's game at Detroit because of bruised ribs.

Taylor went through some drills, but not in full pads.

Before practice, Taylor made it clear he would make the final call on whether he plays.

"I'm the only person who knows how it feels, so I've got the last say on it, basically," he said, adding it would be a game-time decision. "If I can go, I can go, and if I can't, I can't. ... It's all about if it's tolerable."

Coach Brad Childress confirmed it will be Taylor's decision: "It's his body, and there's feedback that you have to have. He knows what the battle is like, and he's probably able to quantify that better than I would."

One of Childress' main concerns is that Taylor will try to play, then realize the injury is too painful. "He knows what is at stake if he puts his hand up and says, 'I can go,' and then he taps himself out three plays into it," Childress said. "Not a good thing."

Taylor is fifth in the NFL with 1,098 rushing yards on 265 carries and third on the team with 38 receptions.

Taylor said the Vikings training staff can provide a protective device for his ribs if he plays. If he doesn't go, Ciatrick Fason likely would serve as the No. 1 running back. Mewelde Moore and former Lion Artose Pinner, who has been inactive the past three games, could help carry the load.

Taylor, though, does have some added incentive to play Sunday. He is from the Detroit area and has secured 30-plus tickets for family and friends.

As for the hit that put him out in the third quarter of last Sunday's Chicago game, Taylor would not say who delivered it but believes it came while he was on the ground.

"One of their people came and hit me late," he said. "They got a free shot on me." Asked if he was unhappy about it, Taylor said: "It's part of the game. I can't do nothing about it. It's over with, it's done."

Mum's the word

In his final meeting with the media this week, Childress refused to confirm that quarterback Brad Johnson will start Sunday.

Backup Tarvaris Jackson has acknowledged as much, but Childress stood by his original intent to keep the Lions guessing.

Asked if he was prepared to announce his starter, Childress said: "Do you want me to?"

Asked again, Childress said: "No, I'm not able to. No."

Backup Brooks Bollinger had been upgraded to questionable on the injury report, but it appears Bollinger will be available only in an emergency against the Lions. Childress also said that Jackson looked "better and better as the week went on."

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