Vikings’ Culpepper To Have Knee Surgery

Times Wire Services

Minnesota Viking quarterback Daunte Culpepper will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his ailing left knee this week. He refused to rule out a possible return before the end of the season.

Culpepper missed the last two games after spraining a ligament in a loss to Chicago on Nov. 25. He started the next week against Pittsburgh before leaving the game because of the injury.

After several days of reports and speculation that he needed surgery, Culpepper and team officials acknowledged an operation would be scheduled later this week.


“Hopefully, this will be my first and last,” Culpepper said.

Coach Dennis Green said Culpepper can’t play without the surgery.

Todd Bouman will start in Culpepper’s place for the third consecutive week.


Seattle running back Ricky Watters’ season has ended because of a broken bone in his right ankle, suffered in Sunday’s victory over Dallas.... Washington cornerback Darrell Green, 41, said he intends to play a 20th season.... Akili Smith’s season with Cincinnati is over after the quarterback suffered a partial tear of his left hamstring in Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets.... Denver will be without quarterback Gus Frerotte and defensive end Kavika Pittman for its final two games. Coach Mike Shanahan said that Frerotte and Pittman will be put on the injured reserve list because of shoulder and calf injuries, respectively.

San Francisco quarterback Jeff Garcia sprained cartilage in the victory against Miami, but probably won’t miss any playing time, Coach Steve Mariucci said.... Miami starting cornerback Patrick Surtain had surgery to stabilize a fracture of his left little finger, suffered against San Francisco. Surtain’s status for Saturday’s game against New England is not known.

Detroit cornerback Terry Fair probably will miss the final three games after spraining his right foot in a Dec. 9 loss at Tampa Bay.... Tennessee defensive tackle Joe Salave’a will probably miss the rest of the season because of damaged tendons and ligaments in his left ankle.... The NFL will consider awarding the 2007 Super Bowl to Washington or New York. If league owners approve, it would mark the first Super Bowl played outdoors in a northern city not protected from the winter elements by a dome. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who is supportive of the plan, has asked the four-man Super Bowl policy committee to study the issue of holding the league’s marquee attraction in one of the two cities targeted by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.