The list of people who officially know the identity of the Vikings' starting quarterback for Sunday's game in Kansas City is an exclusive one. Coach Brad Childress said Friday that his three quarterbacks and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell are all in the loop.
Out of the loop? Try the rest of the Vikings roster. The players will be told today. Fans will have to tune in Sunday to see who lines up under center. It's unlikely anyone will be surprised, however.
While Kelly Holcomb and Brooks Bollinger split snaps with the first team during the portion of Friday's practice that was open to the media, Holcomb received the bulk of the meaningful work with the first team this week and is in line to make his 23rd career start (8-14).
Childress did declare starter Tarvaris Jackson all but out of the game by listing him as doubtful on the injury report because of a groin strain. Jackson did not participate in any of this week's three practices, and the real question is whether he will be ready to play against Green Bay a week from Sunday. The Vikings have their bye the following week.
Childress was asked if he had instructed his quarterbacks not to spill the beans about who will be starting. "I tell my team not to tell everybody else," he said. "It's a family. You don't talk about your stuff on the street; we don't talk about our stuff on the street."
This is not the first time Holcomb has found himself dancing around questions about whether he would be starting. He said it was a frequent occurrence in his four seasons (2001-04) with the Cleveland Browns. "It was every week," he said. "It was one of those deals where, 'Hey, we're not telling.' That's just the way it is. In this league, anything the other team gets, it helps them. So don't show your hand."
But does it really matter?
Kansas City coach Herm Edwards didn't sound overly concerned about who will start at quarterback for an offense that has generated 20 points in two games.
"The system's the system," Edwards said. "They're going to run their system offensively. Different quarterbacks do some things differently. ... But I think at the end, they're going to run their systems and run number 28 [Adrian Peterson], number 29 [Chester Taylor]. They're going to run the ball."
The Vikings' Bobby Wade also downplayed any concerns about the quarterback situation being fluid from a receiver's perspective, pointing out that in the West Coast system, the guy throwing the ball is the one who has to make the necessary adjustments.
"For us it's about being in the spot, it's about executing your job and obviously I think it's more important for the quarterbacks to rhythm up with us instead of us rhythming up with the quarterbacks," he said. "They have to catch up with us and understand what we're doing as individuals as opposed to us knowing what they want to do."
Starting safeties Darren Sharper (hip) and Dwight Smith (hamstring) are listed as questionable for Sunday's game after being limited in practice Friday. Smith hadn't done any work in the Wednesday and Thursday sessions. Both expressed optimism that they would be able to play. Safety Mike Doss (calf) also should be ready to go.
Taylor (hip) was limited in all three practices this week after sitting out last Sunday at Detroit and is listed as questionable. Taylor, though, said he is "supposed" to play at Kansas City. Fullback Tony Richardson (forearm) is doubtful and receiver Troy WIlliamson (hamstring) is questionable. For the Chiefs, tackle Damion McIntosh (knee) and safety Jon McGraw (hamstring) are probable.