GREEN BAY, WIS. - Coach Brad Childress made it clear all season that if Tarvaris Jackson was healthy enough to play, he would be the Vikings' starting quarterback. But that changed Sunday.
Jackson, who suffered a concussion last week against San Diego, backed up Brooks Bollinger in the Vikings' 34-0 loss to Green Bay.
Jackson was the No. 2 QB, meaning he was healthy enough to play, and yet he didn't get in the game. There is no other way to look at it than, for at least one game, Jackson was benched.
"You could say it was my call," Childress said. "I just wanted to see a little bit more clarity. [Jackson] probably physically could have gone. ... You look at it and look at the injury and then look at the [week of] practice, and I'm not going to tell you he was dulled in practice. But it was just my sense of where things needed to go."
Bollinger became the third quarterback to start for the Vikings this season, following Jackson and Kelly Holcomb. Making his first start for the Vikings after solid back-to-back relief appearances in the past two games, Bollinger threw for 7 yards in the opening half. He completed three of six passes, but none went to a wide receiver. In fact, only one pass was intended for a wide receiver.
"I'm disappointed because I didn't play very well," said Bollinger. "I didn't help us out very much and didn't play as well as I'm capable of, and that's frustrating for me."
With the Packers piling up the points in the second half and running back Adrian Peterson out because of a knee injury, Bollinger was forced to start throwing the ball and ended up 16-for-26 for 176 yards with an interception. Robert Ferguson, returning to Green Bay for the first time since being released by the Packers during training camp, finished with six receptions for 59 yards.
During Ferguson's time with the Packers, the only quarterback he ever saw start a game was Brett Favre. Sunday, Ferguson was playing with his third starting quarterback in nine games.
"It is tough," Ferguson said. "I told the young guys that I had Brett for six years flat and he didn't even let guys take reps in practice. It's a little difficult with the quarterbacks rolling in and out."
Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, who caught one pass, said that in order to fix the passing game "we've got to go in and start from square one. ... We need to go back to the basics before we try to advance."
Asked where he would start, Shiancoe said: "Everybody has to be on the same page at all times. That's all there is to it."
He declined to elaborate.
Jackson, meanwhile, was asked if he still believes he's the starter for this team long-term. "Yeah, I still think that," he said. "There's no reason for me to think otherwise."
So does that mean Jackson gets the call next Sunday against Oakland? Childress wasn't saying after the dismal showing at Green Bay. "Let's not start," he said. "I've got bigger fish to fry."