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Vikings send rescue call to Detmer

Vikings coach Brad Childress tapped a familiar source for emergency quarterback depth Tuesday, signing veteran Koy Detmer after a midday workout at Winter Park.
/ Source: KARE11.com

Vikings coach Brad Childress tapped a familiar source for emergency quarterback depth Tuesday, signing veteran Koy Detmer after a midday workout at Winter Park.

Detmer, 34, was a backup in Philadelphia throughout Childress' tenure as an Eagles assistant from 1999 to 2005. The Eagles released Detmer in August 2006, but he returned last January to serve as a holder in two playoff games.

Detmer's familiarity apparently gave him the edge over St. Paul native Chris Weinke, who also worked out.

Detmer gives the Vikings some flexibility as they await Tarvaris Jackson's recovery from a concussion. Backup Kelly Holcomb remains sidelined because of a neck injury, and the Vikings otherwise would have had only one healthy quarterback -- Brooks Bollinger -- for Sunday's game at Green Bay.

Little return

Tailback Adrian Peterson's 296-yard performance Sunday against San Diego has not impacted the Vikings' box office. As of Tuesday, the team still had 5,000 tickets remaining for its Nov. 18 home game against Oakland and 6,500 left for the Dec. 2 game against Detroit.

"Everybody thinks it had to be going crazy on the ticket sales front [but] there hasn't been that type of reaction," said Steve LaCroix, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing. "We haven't moved the dial a whole lot."

Twice this season, the Vikings have needed corporate aid to sell out the Metrodome and avoid a local television blackout. Assuming another bailout is "dangerous," LaCroix said.

"The mountain to climb is bigger this time," he added.

Meanwhile, Peterson was named NFC offensive player of the week for the second time this season.

Last resort

Childress was asked Monday if he would have used safety Darren Sharper -- a quarterback at Hermitage (Va.) High School -- against San Diego in a true emergency. Childress wouldn't answer the question but said: "You can talk to Darren about it. I know he'll talk to you about it if you want to talk to him about it."

Sharper, who prepared for the role last season when Bollinger was injured, received no specific instructions on the issue last week. Nevertheless, he said his heart skipped a beat when he saw Jackson suffer his concussion.

"I was telling [safety] Dwight Smith, 'I'm not going to lie. If I have to line up back there, I'm going to be scared,' " Sharper said. "That's the first time I [would have] been scared playing football. That's a different element."

There is a big difference, he added, between a few practice plays and a regular-season game.

"I want to always relive my quarterback days, so I always try to throw the ball," he said. "But it's different throwing on the sidelines, trying to throw it through a tire or throwing it to one of your teammates, and getting our there when those bullets are live."

Etc.

• The Vikings released cornerback Ronyell Whitaker to make room for Detmer on the roster. Tuesday, they also worked out free-agent receivers Justin Surrency and Brent Little.

• Midway through the season, middle linebacker E.J. Henderson unofficially leads the team with 82 tackles -- including 10 behind the line of scrimmage -- and is getting Pro Bowl consideration. "In my mind he is playing at a Pro Bowl level," Childress said. "I mean, I don't see many playing better than him. He is an active, active linebacker, both in the run, behind the line of scrimmage and in the pass."

Staff writer Judd Zulgad contributed to this notebook.

Kevin Seifert • kseifert@startribune.com