EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said his broken right index finger is feeling better every day.
Still, coach Brad Childress was reluctant on Wednesday to say whether Jackson could play this weekend against Philadelphia.
Jackson broke the finger on his throwing hand in the third quarter of last week's game against Dallas. Both the quarterback and the coach acknowledged that it will be difficult to guide the football with the injury.
``You want a tight spiral and it's hard to spiral the football without your index finger,'' said Jackson, who wore a splint on his hand and was limited in practice. ``That's one of the most important fingers, besides the thumb, to throw the football. I don't want to be out there if I can't control the football.''
If Jackson can't go, veteran Kelly Holcomb will get his third start of the season.
``The big thing with that finger is it is generally the last thing to leave the ball, so that digit has a lot to do with the control and spin of the football,'' Childress said. ``You can't compromise that. It doesn't hurt him tremendously, but it's just a matter of whether he can put the touch that he wants on the football.''
Holcomb stayed after practice to take some extra snaps and said he would look forward to playing against one of his former teams. He was traded from the Bills to the Eagles in March as part of the Takeo Spikes deal, then spent most of the offseason in Philadelphia before being dealt to Minnesota in the last week of the preseason.
When the Eagles drafted quarterback Kevin Kolb in the second round, Holcomb became expendable.
``He is a great guy and has been in this league a long time and for those veteran players, if you can give them an opportunity to be in a better situation where they have a chance to play or be a No. 2, I think that is real important,'' Eagles coach Andy Reid said.
Holcomb has no hard feelings for his short stint in Philly.
``He was upfront and honest and told me exactly what was going to happen,'' Holcomb said of Reid. ``Good man. I really appreciated what he did.''
Special teams player Vinny Ciurciu (ankle) and safety Dwight Smith (hamstring) did not practice on Wednesday while running back Chester Taylor (groin), tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (groin), defensive end Erasmus James (shoulder), fullback Naufahu Tahi (knee) and guard Anthony Herrera (knee) were limited.
If Jackson has his way, he'll start against the Eagles. He's coming off a miserable performance against the Cowboys in which he was just 6-of-19 for 72 yards.
``It seems like when I don't play so well, I get hurt and I have to sit out,'' said Jackson, referring to when he injured his groin in a four-interception day at Detroit in Week 2. ``Hopefully I can go out there and play and just get better.''
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