[size=18px]Vikings: Culpepper chooses orthopedist[/size]

Barring any complications, the renowned orthopedist will perform surgery on the quarterback's right knee early next week.

Kevin Seifert and Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune
Last update: November 10, 2005 at 5:11 AM

Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper has chosen renowned orthopedist James Andrews to perform surgery on his injured right knee, and the procedure will take place early next week if swelling reduces sufficiently by then.

Multiple team officials said this week that Andrews will repair the three torn ligaments in Culpepper's knee, barring an unexpected scheduling conflict. Culpepper suffered the injury Oct. 30, but team medical officials have advised waiting until the swelling reduces before undergoing the procedure.

Culpepper, who has been unavailable to comment since the injury, has been placed on injured reserve and will miss the rest of the season. His recovery time has been estimated to be at least nine months, but the Vikings will have a more exact timetable after Culpepper undergoes surgery.

No rush

Coach Mike Tice is excited about the potential of new No. 3 quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan, but Tice said Wednesday he saw no urgency to make the move this week. Speaking during his weekly radio show on KFAN-1130, Tice said his focus is on "beating the New York Giants this week."

"I wasn't in a rush to sign another quarterback," Tice said. "Some others were. Others will say I wasn't overruled. . . . I'm at the point where I don't want to deal with the . . . tension in this building. It's been rough. Either way, the decision will not help us beat the Giants. That's where I'm at with it."

Rob Brzezinski, vice president of football operations, declined to comment on O'Sullivan's arrival.

Planning to start

Running back Mewelde Moore practiced Wednesday with a splint on his sprained right wrist and expects to retain his starting job against the Giants. "I'm playing," said Moore, listed as probable on the injury report.

Tice has not publicly committed to whether Moore or backup Michael Bennett, who rushed for 106 yards against Detroit, will start against the Giants.

"[Moore] is determined to play and also return punts," Tice said. "Hopefully he'll be able to battle his way through it and have some type of role for us."

Moore was injured in the third quarter of the Vikings' 27-14 victory last Sunday over Detroit and remains "pretty doggone sore," according to athletic trainer Chuck Barta.

Backup Moe Williams, meanwhile, participated in the first half of Wednesday's practice but had to leave early to get ice applied to his sore knee. He is listed as doubtful and is unlikely to play.

Giant prayer

Tice grew up in a household where the New York Giants were the favorite team. But the Giants have been one of Tice's least favorite clubs since he took over as the Vikings coach in 2002. He is 0-3 against New York, losing all three at the Metrodome.

Tice said his father, deceased since 1987, will be in his prayers this week as he looks for an answer.

"I'm wondering if it is his fault that we can't beat the Giants," Tice said. "I'm going to ask him for a week reprieve to give me a break so we can beat the Giants one time. [Vikings tight ends coach] John [Tice] and I were born and raised Giants fans. My dad and our family have had season tickets since the Polo Grounds.

"I am kind of half blaming it on him. I am going to do some extra praying to him this week to try to ease the dogs off us a little and maybe we can have some luck. We haven't had much luck against the Giants. In fact, we have had some very ugly games. So that is what I am going to do. I'm being serious, too."


• Defensive lineman Spencer Johnson, who returned against Detroit after missing three games because of an injured right knee, is doubtful for Sunday because of a buildup of fluid inside the same knee. If Johnson can't go, rookie nose tackle C.J. Mosley will be active.

• Rookie wide receiver Troy Williamson did not practice Wednesday because of illness, and linebacker Napoleon Harris was absent so he could attend a funeral.

• Moore said he will be able to return punts Sunday, but if he can't, either receiver Koren Robinson or safety Darren Sharper will be used in that role.