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Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins / McClatchy Newspapers, Published December 16 2010

NFL: Vikings ink Ramsey as QB replacement, Tarvaris Jackson out with turf toe injury

MINNEAPOLIS – The Vikings’ unsettled quarterback situation took a new twist Wednesday as the team signed veteran free agent Patrick Ramsey.

Ramsey, joining his eighth team, has not played in a game since 2008 or started one since 2005. It’s unlikely that he will start Monday night against the Chicago Bears, according to coach Leslie Frazier.

The starter likely will be rookie Joe Webb, who has served as the No. 3 quarterback all season until Monday and even played wide receiver two weeks ago. Last week’s starter, Tarvaris Jackson, won’t be able to play because of a turf toe injury, Frazier indicated.

In his weekly appearance on KFAN radio, Frazier said he remains hopeful that Brett Favre’s shoulder injury will heal enough for him to play. However, Favre didn’t sound overly optimistic after missing Monday’s game against the New York Giants.

That leaves Webb, who has been bothered by a hamstring injury, or Ramsey to start against the Bears in Monday’s game expected to be played at TCF Bank Stadium.

“Joe Webb has the most familiarity with our offense,” Frazier told KFAN. “He’s been with us the entire season. Although he’s coming off a hamstring injury, he’d be the next candidate. The next guy (Ramsey) would have to be ready to go in if something were to happen with Joe.”

Favre’s consecutive starts streak ended Monday at 321 games, including playoffs, because of a shoulder injury. A nerve problem is causing tingling and numbness in his right hand. Frazier said that an ultrasound performed Tuesday showed no nerve damage and that he hopes Favre can make enough progress this week to play. Favre continues to lose feeling in his right hand when he extends his arm straight downward

“I’m still holding out hope that things will improve for Brett,” Frazier said. “He’ll get another chance to have another day of work (Thursday) so hopefully he’ll be able to do something. But the door is not shut on Brett playing in the Chicago game. He’s improving. His injury is one where rest helps. So he’s had a full week now. There’s still a chance. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that we’ll get Brett back.”

That still seems like a long shot, especially considering the frigid conditions expected Monday night. Frazier, however, said the weather should not be a factor in that decision.

“It’s not ideal, but he’s played in many cold weather games before and his injury is not one where the weather is going to make a difference in whether he plays or not,” Frazier said. “It’s just a matter of him just continuing to improve in the next few days.”

Frazier acknowledged Tuesday that having to start Webb is not ideal because he’s had few reps in practice as the No. 3 quarterback and is still extremely raw. But he said Webb has the advantage over a quarterback signed this week because he knows the offense.

Ramsey has bounced around in recent years. He’s been with Miami and Jacksonville this season and spent time with Detroit and Tennessee last season. He previously played for Denver, the New York Jets and Washington in his eight-year career.

Ramsey is expected to take part in his first practice when the team returns to work Thursday, but Frazier indicated that Webb would get the starting nod, if healthy.

“Hopefully he’s healthy,” Frazier said. “He’s still not that far removed from the hamstring, and that can be a tricky injury. If he doesn’t start, it would probably be because of injury. We want to be able to put a guy in there who is familiar with how we do things. To put someone in there who’s only been with us a few days to start would be real, real hard. Now it may come to that. Hopefully it doesn’t. We would rather for Joe to be the starter.”


(c) 2010, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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