Brett Favre wasn't able to do any work in practice today and has yet to pass his baseline neurological exam, meaning the quarterback is unlikely to play on Sunday night at Philadelphia after suffering a concussion last Monday against the Bears.
Leslie Frazier listed Favre as doubtful on the injury report, but the interim coach won't use the "out" designation again considering the veteran was ruled out two days before the Bears game because of an injury to his throwing arm but ended up playing.
Frazier said he did not know if Favre had take the neurological test today but admitted if Favre can't pass the exam by Saturday that he won't be able to play. "There are other things besides just passing the test, so he wouldn't be able to make it," Frazier said.
Once a player gets past the neurological test there is a conditioning element that he also must complete in order to be eligible to play. Frazier did say that Favre will travel with the team to Philadelphia.
Favre's absence would mean rookie Joe Webb would get his first career start. Webb was expected to start last Monday but that didn't happen when Favre decided he could go.
"I think he’s gotten better in some areas, and we’re tailoring some things to his strengths, and I think he’ll play even better than he played last week," Frazier said of Webb. "The big thing is being on the road, in a very tough environment to play in, getting past that initial series -- that’s going to be a big one for him."
Meanwhile, Adrian Peterson is listed as questionable after missing last Monday's game because of a bruised knee and thigh. Peterson did limited work for a second consecutive day of practice and Frazier seemed optimistic that the running back will be able to return.
"He was able to do some things and feel pretty good about the fact he’ll probably make it," Frazier said. "I think he’ll probably make it. We’ll have to see how he feels tomorrow but it seems like we’re headed in the right direction.”
Also listed as questionable is safety Madieu Williams (concussion), although the plan is to have Jamarca Sanford start opposite Husain Abdullah. Safety Tyrell Johnson (knee) is out, meaning he will miss a third consecutive game.
Sanford missed the last game because of a concussion but is listed as probable after practicing all week and cornerback Frank Walker (hamstring) is listed as probable despite being held out today.
Injuries to Johnson and Williams mean the only healthy backup safety on the roster right now is Eric Frampton.
"It’s not a comfortable feeling," Frazier said of lacking depth. "You’re one injury from being to your last backup, and then possibly having to play a corner at safety. That’s not a comfortable feeling. But that’s where we are right now with injuries on our football team, and we have to try to make it work."
Frazier said the Vikings would look at their options as far as promoting one of the four defensive backs on the practice squad.
Fines, fines and more fines
Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield confirmed he was fined $7,500 for a second-quarter hit on Jay Cutler last Monday that resulted in a gash in the chin of the Bears quarterback. Winfield said his agent, Ashanti Webb, wrote a letter to the NFL on Thursday to appeal the fine. "I was coming off the edge, going full speed," Winfield said. "That field was kind of slick. I tried to pull up at the end, tried to hold him up. It isn't like we went to the ground."
Winfield also was fined $10,000 for a uniform violation that involved how he wore his socks and the fact he had on white sleeves. Winfield is a repeat offender in the NFL's eyes and said he usually wears his equipment as he likes once a year. "I knew I was going to get fined for that," Winfield said, adding that he won't appeal.
Also fined for hits during the games were Bears safety Major Wright ($10,000) and linebacker Brian Urlacher ($10,000) and Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams ($7,500).
Wright was fined for unnecessarily striking the quarterback in the head and neck area, according to an NFL spokesman. Urlacher was fined for striking Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe in the head and neck area. Urlacher was fined more because it was a second offense this season. Williams was fined for unnecessarily striking the quarterback late.
- Frazier said the Vikings are hoping left guard Steve Hutchinson can avoid having surgery on his broken right thumb. Hutchinson actually cracked a bone at the base of the hand and was placed on injured reserve. "That's what we've been trying to avoid all along," Frazier said. "Just trying to see how that's going to heal. We're still trying to avoid surgery. ... If it doesn't heal correctly that may be an option."
- Defensive tackle Kevin Williams returned to practice Friday after missing Thursday's session so he could take care of a personal matter.
- The forecast for Philadelphia on Sunday night calls for a low around 22 degrees and a 30 percent chance of snow. Winds are expected to be around 6 to 10 miles per hour. While a snow storm is headed that way it's expected the majority of the snow will stay out over the ocean. Light snow is expected south and east of Philadelphia on Sunday evening.
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