Immediate reaction following last Sunday’s win over the Arizona Cardinals was that the young Vikings secondary, which played without Pro Bowler Antoine Winfield, stepped up in a big way. And Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier shared a similar reaction after the game.
“They came up big for us today,” Frazier said in his post-game press conference. “Great to see Asher step up, great to see Jamarca step up. Chris Cook seems like he’s getting better every week. We all know there are big-time receivers every week in our league, and I haven’t seen him bat his eyes yet. He just continues to improve.”
With Winfield unavailable and fellow starter Cedric Griffin sidelined for the first series, Allen and Cook stepped into the starting lineup. And since Arizona had 3 WRs on the first offensive snap, Marcus Sherels also got the start. That means on the first offensive snap of the game, the Vikings 3 starting CBs had an average age of 23 years and average NFL playing experience of 2 seasons.
Even when Griffin returned to the lineup, the secondary was still youthful. But they played like veterans and were a huge reason the defense allowed just 10 points to Larry Fitzgerald and Co.
The Vikings may need a similar effort from that group this week when they travel to Chicago. Winfield didn’t practice all week and he’s listed as doubtful for the game.
“That was extremely encouraging, watching both of those guys compete the way they did,” Frazier said of Allen and Cook on Friday. “We feel like we should be in pretty good shape. With Antoine (out), you miss something from a tackling standpoint, leadership, and all the intangibles he brings. But both Asher and Chris, they’re showing they’re really coming along, which is great for our team.”
Tags: Antoine Winfield, Asher Allen, Chris Cook, Leslie Frazier, Marcus Sherels
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