The Minnesota Vikings, seeking immediate help after a season-ending injury to quarterback Tommy Kramer, traded two draft choices to Houston yesterday for quarterback Archie Manning and tight end Dave Casper.
Kramer tore ligaments in his right knee in Sunday's 19-16 overtime victory over Tampa Bay and had surgery Monday. Coach Bud Grant said Steve Dils would replace Kramer, but that was before the trade.
"We went for the best that was available," Grant said.
"I don't know what it means for me," Dils said, "but I think I'll still be starting Sunday.
Minnesota's all-pro tight end, Joe Senser, had knee surgery Aug. 1.
The Oilers' chief executive, Ladd Herzeg, said quarterback Gifford Nielson and tight end Chris Dressel will replace the traded players.
"This trade is following the Oilers' desire to build a championship team through the draft," he said. "While the terms will not be disclosed, I can say the Oilers had to assume a significant portion of both players' 1983, 1984 and 1985 contracts."
This season, Manning has completed 44 of 88 passes for 755 yards and two touchdowns.
Earlier yestersday, the Vikings were on the verge of signing veteran quarterback Jeff Komlo, who was cut by Atlanta last month.