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Childress not quick to give his support to ex-Buc Johnson

Will the Vikings' starting quarterback keep his job because of an injury to the backup?

That scenario seemed possible as coach Brad Childress brushed off questions about Brad Johnson's immediate future and indicated he will not name a starter for Sunday's game at Detroit until later this week.

Childress' refusal to immediately support Johnson, who threw four interceptions in a 23-13 loss Sunday to Chicago, suggested he preferred a change. But Childress' options are limited: Backup Brooks Bollinger's left arm was in a sling Monday, courtesy of a second-degree sprain of his shoulder, and rookie Tarvaris Jackson continued to express reservations about stepping into the lineup.

Childress admitted he did not know when Bollinger would return to practice.

The team was off Tuesday.

Childress has benched Johnson, a Super Bowl winner with the Buccaneers, twice for throwing multiple interceptions, and coaches often look to replace starters after a second sitdown.

Childress, for one, offered no evidence to the contrary Monday. "We've got a lot of things that we have to clean up on offense," he said, "primarily No. 1, taking care of the football."

In two relief appearances this season, Bollinger has completed 13 of 18 passes for 148 yards and one interception.

Jackson, meanwhile, had a brief stint against the Bears, completing 3 of 4 passes for 35 yards. That represented his first work with the Vikings' offense since the preseason.

A fan favorite, Jackson said he believes Johnson should retain the job.

GAMES CHANGED: The starting time for the Dolphins' game at Buffalo on Dec. 17 has been moved to 4:05 p.m. Also moved, from 1 to 4:15, was the Eagles at Giants. The moves are part of NBC's flexible scheduling to ensure better matchups in prime time late in the season.

BILLS: Linebacker Angelo Crowell was placed on season-ending injured reserve and linebacker Roy Manning was signed. Crowell, second on the team with 95 tackles, broke a bone in his lower left leg in a 24-21 loss to San Diego last weekend. Manning is in his second NFL season after appearing in one game with the Texans this year before being released Oct. 20.

NINERS: The team waived safety Tony Parrish, who once started 121 consecutive games before falling out of favor this season. Veteran linebacker Jay Foreman was signed to fill in while starter Derek Smith is out with a hamstring injury.

REDSKINS: Running back Clinton Portis had shoulder surgery that will require six months of rehabilitation. He was placed on injured reserve Nov. 15 after breaking a bone in his hand in a loss to Philadelphia, but his left shoulder also had been ailing him all season. His surgery repaired a torn labrum and stabilized the shoulder.

SAINTS: Defensive tackle Hollis Thomas was suspended for the final four games of the regular season for violating the league's steroid policy.

Thomas, backed by the team, appealed the suspension, which he said was caused by using asthma medication. He uses an inhaler daily.

Thomas has 43 tackles and four sacks this season. If New Orleans makes the playoffs, he would be eligible to play.

SEAHAWKS: Reserve running back and special teams standout Josh Scobey was placed on injured reserve after breaking a bone in his upper arm Sunday.

TITANS: A judge set a Feb. 1 hearing for cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones on a misdemeanor charge of assault filed by a woman who said he spit on her at a nightclub in October.

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