Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin is expected to have surgery in the next week to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee that he suffered in the Vikings' loss to New Orleans on Sunday in the NFC title game.
"[He] has to get some strength back and some range of motion back before they'll go ahead and do that surgery," coach Brad Childress said Tuesday in his season-ending news conference at Winter Park. "Those are typically six-to-nine month deals. Everybody heals a little bit differently. So he'll be right on the edge I'm sure."
If Griffin is sidelined six months, that means he would be out until August and be able to return during training camp to do some work. A nine-month timetable would put Griffin out until November, or two months into the season.
The injury means that the Vikings might need Asher Allen to play an expanded role in his second season -- Allen played some left corner on Sunday in overtime after Griffin went out and the Saints immediately threw the ball in his direction -- or they need to bring back veteran Benny Sapp, who had a one-year contract in 2009.
Griffin, a second-round pick out of Texas in 2006 who was signed to a contract extension last March, had a team-leading four interceptions for the Vikings during the regular season. He also had 71 tackles, eight pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
On another note, five Vikings have pulled out of the Pro Bowl for injury reasons but Childress said he expects the remaining five who are still on the NFC roster to play in the game. That includes defensive end Jared Allen, left tackle Bryant McKinnie, left guard Steve Hutchinson, running back Adrian Peterson, special-teams ace Heath Farwell.
Hutchinson battled a shoulder problem this season and Childress indicated team doctors will examine the veteran more when he returns from the Pro Bowl.