Winfield Questionable; Warner, Too

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 4, 2009 – 2:53 pm

The Vikings and Cardinals released their 3rd and final injury report of the week and there are several players whose participation level in practice has changed from Thursday. But, more importantly, Friday injury reports also contain a designation as to each player’s chances of suiting up on Sunday.

We won’t go through all the changes in practice participation in this blog entry. You can check that out by clicking here and reading the injury report.

What we will tell you in this space is that both Vikings CB Antoine Winfield and Cardinals QB Kurt Warner are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game, meaning there’s a 50-50 chance they’ll go and the decision ultimately won’t be made until game time. Other players listed as questionable for the Vikings are G Anthony Herrera, TE Visanthe Shiancoe and RB Chester Taylor.

The Vikings have listed no one as doubtful and the following players are probable: WR Bernard Berrian, S Eric Frampton, G Steve Hutchinson, LT Bryan McKinnie, CB Benny Sapp, RB Adrian Peterson and FB Fahu Tahi.

For the Cardinals, starting LT Mike Gandy and TE Stephen Spach are listed as doubtful. Aside from Warner, other players listed as questionable include LB Karlos Dansby, RB Tim Hightower, DE Kenny Iwebema, CB Bryant McFadden and K Neil Rackers.

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Vikings, Cardinals May Start Backups Along O-Lines

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 4, 2009 – 11:15 am

Injury concerns for the Vikings and Cardinals leading up to their game this Sunday night have been largely centered on QB Kurt Warner (concussion) and CB Antoine Winfield (foot). But there are a couple of other injury situations that will impact this matchup and both of them are along the offensive line.

For the Cardinals, starting LT Mike Gandy has missed 2 consecutive practices due to a pelvis injury he suffered last week in Tennessee. Arizona has started the same offensive line for 31 consecutive games but that streak may come to an end this week if Gandy is unable to play.

Starting in Gandy’s place should he be unable to go will be Jeremy Bridges, a 6-year veteran who has placed mostly G and some RT during his career. With Jared Allen and the Williams Wall coming to town on Sunday, Bridges will be tested. But he sounds confident.

“They say you’re supposed to be a little more finesse at left tackle, but it’s the same difference, man,” Bridges told the team’s official website. “You’ve got great athletes coming off that edge and you’ve got to block them. You’ve got to do a lot of dancing.”

The Vikings face a similar scenario along their offensive line, but at a different position. Starting RG Anthony Herrera has also missed 2 practices this week and he was held out of last week’s game against Chicago after suffering a concussion against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 11. The difference is that the Vikings already have one game under their belt with a backup in the starting lineup.

Veteran swingman Artis Hicks, whose value with the Vikings is that he can play 4 positions along the offensive line, filled in more-than-capably for Herrera last week.

“I thought he did a good job,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said last week after the Bears game. “He is a jack of all trades. He doesn’t flinch. He’s started right tackle, he’s started right guard, he started on the over side so he’s a valuable guy and there is nobody on that team that thinks twice about him going in there.”

Against Chicago last week the Vikings offensive line protected QB Brett Favre as he threw for 392 yards and they also paved the way for the Vikings ground game to record 152 net yards rushing.

It may very well be that both Gandy for the Cardinals and Herrera for the Vikings are able to play on Sunday night. But if they aren’t, Bridges and Hicks are poised to step up and fit in.

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Today’s Mailbag Feature Is Posted

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 4, 2009 – 9:34 am

This week’s edition of the Mailbag is posted. You can view it by clicking here.

We post the Mailbag feature every Friday. Do you have a comment or question you’d like submitted? If so, send me an email at

We can’t post every comment or email, but I’ll respond to all of them.

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Deja Vu Down In The Desert?

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 4, 2009 – 8:08 am

For the 2nd consecutive season, the Vikings are traveling to Arizona in December for a contest against the Cardinals and a crucial late-season victory.

Last year, Minnesota trumped the Cards 35-14 for their 9th win of the season and eventually went on to win the NFC North title with a 10-6 record. This year, a victory in the desert will give the Vikings their 11th win and it will clinch at minimum a playoff berth and possibly a division title if the Green Bay Packers fall at home to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football.

In order to tab a repeat outcome this season against Arizona the Vikings could use a couple of repeat performances – specifically from RB Adrian Peterson and WR Bernard Berrian.

Peterson cut through the Cardinals in last season’s game to the tune of 165 yards on 28 carries. But it was Berrian who buried Arizona, striking twice early on an 82-yard punt return TD and then a 41-yard TD reception from Tarvaris Jackson.

Speaking of Jackson, he had 4 TD passes on the afternoon. A repeat of that effort by this year’s starting QB – Brett Favre – will also go a long way toward a playoff-clinching and potentially division-cinching victory.

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See You In Arizona?

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 4, 2009 – 7:42 am

The Vikings are accustomed to playing in front of a sold out crowd – they’ve sold out 123 consecutive games at the Metrodome/Mall of America Field. But even though they’re on the road this week, the Vikings will once again play in front of a packed house.

To no one’s surprise, Sunday night’s game between the Vikings and Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium has officially sold out. Sunday night’s game marks the 40th inside the new venue and every game has been a sellout.

It will be interesting to see the ratio of Cardinals fans to Vikings fans at Sunday’s game. Last year when the Vikings visited Arizona on December 14, the Vikings were well-represented. The difference this year is that the Cardinals are now the defending NFC champions and that might have the fan base a bit more riled up than they’ve been in the past.

Still, as Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress pointed out earlier this week, plenty of Minnesotans “winter” down in Arizona and they probably are looking forward to taking a break from the calm of the golf course or their pool-side sun tanning to passionately root on the Purple.

“There is no downside to it if they (Vikings fans) want to fill the place up,” Childress said. “If people want to scalp their tickets and make a mortgage payment and give them to somebody in purple, I would be tickled to death to have them there.”

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