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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

T-Jack planning to practice

Tarvaris Jackson didn't do any throwing in the morning walk-through, but the Vikings' starting quarterback said he hopes to participate in the afternoon practice, fractured right index finger and all.

Coach Brad Childress said the decision on whether Jackson will start Sunday's game against Philadelphia will depend on his ability to control the football.

"The other thing I think you factor in there, too, is the center-quarterback exchange," Childress said. "That ball comes up with a pretty good thump and his right hand's up and that's what's accepting the football. So that's something that you don't want to be an adventure."

Jackson said the finger felt a lot better than it did Monday and Tuesday, when he did some throwing under the supervision of team trainers.

"I think it'll be OK throwing the football," he said. "It's just taking a snap that might be a big deal."

Jackson bemoaned the fact that he has been injured in his two worst performances of the season, in losses to Detroit and Dallas, and said that's added incentive to get right back on the field.

He also said pain isn't an issue but that he doesn't want to play if he would be hurting the team.

"I'm not going to go out there if I feel it can happen like that," he said. "I'm pretty sure coach is not going to put me out there if I have anything like that. If I can take a snap without pain and without any problem, I'm pretty sure it will be OK."

Childress wouldn't say how much Jackson's finger would have to improve for him to start and that the decision to go with him or Kelly Holcomb will come down to Jackson's ability to command the football.

"It's going to be pretty clear cut, whether or not I think he can put his hand on the football and control the football," Childress said. " … With that injury, that hand throws the football. It's not like he's ambidextrous or anything like that. He's not going to be able to play left-handed. It's important that he's got full command of that football."

Early practice update: Jackson was in uniform for the start of practice, tossing the football around with quarterback Brooks Bollinger, trying a few handoffs and even taking some snaps from assistant equipment manager Aaron Neumann.

The rest of practice is closed to the media, as usual, so it's obviously still way too early to make any evaluation of Jackson's status for Sunday.

Safety Dwight Smith (hamstring) was the only player missing from practice and linebacker Vinny Ciurciu (ankle) was not participating.


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