Notebook: Culpepper upgraded to questionable |

Notebook: Culpepper upgraded to questionable

The Associated Press

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Daunte Culpepper was upgraded to questionable by the Minnesota Vikings on Friday, meaning there’s a 50 percent chance the injured quarterback will play against San Francisco.

Culpepper and coach Mike Tice said it will be a game-time decision.

“I feel good, and I’m always getting better,” Culpepper said as he left practice.

Culpepper, who leads the league with a passer rating of 108.0, has three small broken bones in his left lower back and a fourth that’s partially broken. He practiced yesterday for the first time this week, splitting time with Gus Frerotte on the first team.

Wide receiver Randy Moss, who has back spasms, also practiced yesterday for the first time this week. He was upgraded to probable and will play Sunday.

Culpepper’s injury normally requires at least two weeks of recovery, but the quarterback has made considerable progress since he was hurt last Sunday in Detroit. He landed in the end zone on a touchdown run and was hit by Lions linebacker Wali Rainer.

“If he continues to progress the way he’s progressing, we’re going to have a tough decision to make,” Tice said. “I don’t see that the injury can get any worse.”

Culpepper’s status will depend on how much pain he’s in and how well he can move around behind the line of scrimmage. His mobility in yesterday’s practice was good, Tice said.


Jaguars rookie quarterback Byron Leftwich most likely will make his first NFL start Sunday, with Mark Brunell downgraded to doubtful for the game against Houston.

Brunell injured his elbow in the first quarter last weekend against Indianapolis and needed five stitches after the game. He has not practiced this week and was listed as questionable when the team’s first injury report came out Wednesday.

Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio wasn’t available yesterday, but told a national radio audience it is “very unlikely” Brunell will start.

“I’m ready to go,” Leftwich said following a short team workout yesterday. The 6-foot-5 rookie from Marshall has taken most of the snaps in practice this week, with No. 3 QB David Garrard getting the rest.


The NFL fined the Denver Broncos $25,000 for showing up in the wrong colored uniforms for a game against San Diego and fined wide receiver Rod Smith $20,000 for accidentally hitting an official.

The Broncos were penalized for wearing white uniforms Sept. 14 against San Diego, even though Denver had agreed beforehand to wear dark uniforms.

Home teams declare which uniform they will wear for each game before the season, and the Chargers had chosen white for that game. Now San Diego will choose which colored jersey they will wear when they play in Denver on Nov. 16.

“I knew we would be fined something,” Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said yesterday. “That’s a little bit of a slap on the wrist. They knew it wasn’t intentional or the fine would have been a lot more.”

Smith was fined for striking umpire Undrey Wash during Monday night’s 31-10 win over Oakland. Smith got tangled with Raiders defensive tackle Chris Cooper after a six-yard reception and took a wild swing that struck Wash.


Bills running back Travis Henry might be unable to play Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles because of torn rib cartilage. He is listed as questionable and did not practice this week. The Bills had hoped he would be able to work out yesterday, but that did not happen. … St. Louis Rams rookie linebacker Scott Shanle was suspended for four games without pay yesterday for violating the NFL’s policy on anabolic steroids and related substances.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.