One day after pulling Brad Johnson in the fourth quarter of the Vikings’ 31-7 loss to New England, coach Brad Childress said Tuesday that he planned to start the veteran on Sunday at San Francisco.
Childress said he does not consider himself a “short hook” guy when it comes to his quarterbacks, but clearly the three interceptions Johnson threw Monday were more than Childress could stomach.
“After coaching quarterbacks over the course of time, I’m not a short-hook guy but by the same token it’s kind of like Popeye, ‘That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more,’” Childress said. “And that was it.”
Childress, who really did quote Popeye to perfection, revealed the Vikings are banged up coming out of the New England loss.
– Defensive tackle Kevin Williams suffered a high ankle sprain on the second play of the game. “To his credit he fought through,” Childress said. “He’s treating it right now and we’ll just have to see how it goes through the week here. Short week.”
– Middle linebacker Napoleon Harris has a dislocated wrist and a cast has been placed on the injury. “We’ll see how he comes through the week and if he’s able to play here at the end of the week,” Childress said. “We’ll just have to check his comfort level as we go through the week.”
– Center Matt Birk hyperextended his knee.
– Nose tackle Pat Williams has “moderate swellling,” in his knee.
The two biggest concerns likely are Kevin Williams and Harris. If Harris can’t play Sunday at San Francisco, Childress said strong-side linebacker Ben Leber could move to the middle or Dontarrious Thomas could slide into the spot. “We could end up tag teaming that thing but I think that will probably evolve as we go through the week here,” Childress said.
Also, receiver Marcus Robinson (back) continues to rehab his injury but it’s unclear if he will be available Sunday at San Francisco.