Vikings quarterback Jackson back on track to start this week

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Tarvaris Jackson is in line to return as Minnesota's starting quarterback this week against San Diego.

Jackson suffered a small break on the index finger of his throwing hand on Oct. 21 at Dallas and didn't play last Sunday against Philadelphia. Vikings coach Brad Childress said he was set to "take the lion's share" of the plays with the first team offense in Wednesday's practice, and afterward Jackson reported no problems other than some anticipated soreness overnight.

Childress said Jackson looked "significantly different" while throwing the ball in a workout on Tuesday than he did last week. The swelling has subsided in his finger, and Jackson said he was feeling a "lot better" and in less pain than before.

Kelly Holcomb, who started last week before injuring his neck and leaving the game, did not practice Wednesday. Brooks Bollinger replaced him at a position that has been a major problem for Minnesota this season, even without the injuries. But Childress has maintained his commitment to starting Jackson when he's healthy enough to play.

Receiver Bobby Wade didn't practice, either, the result of a knee he hyperextended against the Eagles. Safety Dwight Smith, however, was back on the field after sitting out the last two games because of a strained hamstring.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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