Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Winfield, Cook fine, held out as precaution

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Vikings defense, Adrian Peterson, Antoine Winfield, Bernard Berrian, Cedric Griffin, Leslie Frazier Updated: August 28, 2011 - 2:27 PM

The two best things to come out of Saturday night's 23-17 loss to the Cowboys at the Metrodome were the first drive by the offense and the fact that cornerback Antoine Winfield got up after crumpling to the ground with a right shoulder stinger after tackling tight end Jason Witten late in the second quarter.

"Antoine is going to be fine," coach Leslie Frazier said. "If we had been in a regular-season game, he would have been right back out there in that next series. He'll be ready when the time comes."

That time likely won't be Thursday's preseason finale against Houston at the Metrodome. Frazier is expected to rest most of the starters and no way does Winfield play in that game, nor does he need to.

Also injured was cornerback Chris Cook, who plays Winfield's right cornerback spot when Winfield moves inside to the slot in the nickel defense. Cook had an ice bag taped to his left hamstring, but Frazier said "Chris is fine. Just got tight a little bit. We could have put him back in, but we chose not to."

Ironically, the last of the top three corners left on the field in the first half was Cedric Griffin, the guy coming off two torn ACLs over the past two years. He played 27 snaps and held his own despite being targeted eight times.

"What I was encouraged by was when Chris was out there, when Cedric was out there and when 'toine was out there, we held our own," Frazier said. "And that's really encouraging for our team because we're really going to need those guys to play at a high level for our defense to play well. So when they were there, we held them in check. and, yeah, when they were out of the  lineup, things changed a little bit."

Late in the first half, the first-team defense was running with Cord Parks, rookie Stephen Burton and Marcus Sherels working in the nickel defense. That's not good, even though Sherels is having an outstanding camp and preseason.

As for the offense, yeah, it wasn't perfect. Donovan McNabb forced a pass into double coverage -- a la Favre -- that was tipped and interception. That led to a Cowboys' touchdown drive and a 10-point deficit.

However, the offense's opening drive was exactly how new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave wants his new offense to perform this year.

In a seven-play, 83-yard drive, the Vikings fed Adrian Peterson the ball five times for 29 yards. And just when the Cowboys moved closer to the line to stop the run, McNabb was able to take a seven-step drop and have all the time he needed to launch a perfectly thrown 49-yard touchdown pass to Bernard Berrian, who caught the ball between two defenders at the goal line.

"That drive," Frazier said, "was really indicative of what we waant to be like during the course of the year."

As for Bernard, the forgotten man from 2010, Frazier said, "We're counting on Bernard to make the kind of plays he made on that opening drive. If that does happen for us, we have a chance to be an explosive offense."

Injury update: Backup offensive lineman Chris DeGeare suffered a mild concussion on the blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown. Running back Lorenzo Booker suffered a back injury, according to Frazier. Frazier said he needed more information before he could speak about the seriousness of Booker's injury.


San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington 6:00 PM
Carolina 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Montreal 7:30 PM
Arizona 8:00 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon




question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do against Atlanta?

Weekly Question