One of the Vikings best defensive players – CB Antoine Winfield – will not play today against the Arizona Cardinals because of a neck injury suffered in last week’s game against Kansas City. As the Vikings get ready to kick it off against a Cardinals team that features arguably the NFL’s best WR in Larry Fitzgerald, a pair of young CBs must step up in Winfield’s absence.
Those young CBs are Asher Allen and Chris Cook. Expect Cook to play almost exclusively on the outside, while Allen will likely play a lot of the nickel CB snaps over the slot receiver that Winfield usually handles. Also, this could mean added playing time for Marcus Sherels.
Earlier this week, Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier was asked about the possibility of Winfield not playing and what that would mean for Allen.
“He’s had a good two days of practice here,” Frazier said on Thursday. “He’s practicing as if he’s going to have to play, which is the right attitude to take because it may very well turn out to be that way.”
As for replacing Winfield, Frazier knows you can’t really replace a player of his ability with just a few days’ notice. With that said, Frazier does expect the guys who are on the field to step up and held the defense contribute to a victory.
“Antoine is a hard guy to replace,” Frazier acknowledged. “He does so many things for us. Even the play that he got injured on, he’s making a tackle that a lot of guys in the secondary might not be able to make in our league. The first play of the game they (Kansas City) ran to his side and I was surprised they did. And he tackled the back in the backfield, blows up a tackle for a loss or a zero gain.
“So it’s hard to replace that at the corner position, but you’ll have someone in there who will do a good job, but it’s not Antoine Winfield.”
Tags: Antoine Winfield, Asher Allen, Chris Cook, Leslie Frazier, Marcus Sherels
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 18 Comments »