The bad news is the Vikings defense must go up against the Packers and their high-flying passing attack on Monday night. But the good news is the Vikings defense might have its best CB on the field for the challenge.
Antoine Winfield, who has missed the past 4 games with a neck injury, has been steadily improving over the last few weeks, and now head coach Leslie Frazier sounds optimistic the 13-year veteran will be on the field for the Vikings Monday Night Football showdown with the Packers.
“Antoine was able to practice today, which was good,” Frazier said on Monday. “He had a good practice and went through some things today, and we are optimistic that he will be ready to go when we get to Monday night.”
Winfield and the team have been (wisely) cautious in bringing #26 back. You don’t want to mess around with neck injuries. The Friday before the October 23 game against Green Bay, Winfield was reportedly going to try and practice, which would’ve given him an outside chance of playing that Sunday. As it turned out, Winfield was unable to give it a go. Winfield made it back to the practice field during the week leading up to the Vikings game at Carolina, but ultimately Winfield and the team decided to give the neck another game – plus the bye week – to heal.
Now, assuming he can practice without limitations this week, Winfield seems on track to play on Monday night. And although it will be great just to see him back on the field, Frazier indicated the final step to seeing if Winfield – regarded as the best tackling CB in the NFL – is back to full strength is to see if he is making the plays he typically makes.
“You have to find out if he’s going to stick his head in there and make some of those tackles that we’re accustomed to seeing him make, some of those plays, and the only way you’re going to find that out is in a game situation because we’re not going to simulate it in practice,” Frazier explained. “He’ll get a chance to go hit the dummies with his uniform on and maybe wrap a guy up but he won’t be able to take him to the ground so we’ll have to watch him during the course of the game and see if he’s playing like the Antoine that we know.”
Tags: Antoine Winfield, Leslie Frazier
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Each week on “Vikings GamePlan,” Head Coach Leslie Frazier will answer one fan-submitted question. To submit your question to Coach Frazier, click here.
“GamePlan” airs each week on KARE 11 at 10 a.m. on Sundays, and is replayed at 10:30 a.m. on Fox Sports North. To watch past episodes on vikings.com, click here.
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