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 mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Winfield out; Frazier doesn't see team lacking effort

Posted by: Mark Craig under NFC, Leslie Frazier, Antoine Winfield, Jared Allen, Leslie Frazier Updated: November 15, 2011 - 3:56 PM

Coach Leslie Frazier made it official that cornerback Antoine Winfield will have surgery Wednesday to repair a fractured clavicle and will be out for the rest of the season. Frazier said the team will add a cornerback to the roster and are trying to decide whether is should be a veteran that can better help them now or a younger player that they could groom and keep beyond this season.

Either way, it's safe to say it's slim pickings when it comes to unemployed cornerbacks on Nov. 15. Frazier wants a player added to the roster by Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Frazier said he did not witness a lack of effort in Sunday's 45-7 loss at Green Bay.

"I really didn't," he said. "Our guys, they played hard. They just didn't play smart at times in crucial situations. The effort throughout the game, guys were fighting right to the end to try and make plays, running to the ball, tackling well enough, trying to get their blocks, Adrian [Peterson] is running hard, Percy [Harvin] is running hard, Visanthe [Shiancoe], guys are playing hard but when you're playing a good team, you almost have to be perfect. And we by no means were perfect in that ballgame."

Frazier went on to say it's his job to make sure the players don't mentally fly south for the winter (my words, not his).

"That's part of what I have to help and ensure, that we're motivated to go out and play our best game of the year against Oakland," Frazier said. "They're a good football team. we've got prideful guys on this team who want to play well and do well. as coaches, we got to make sure that we keep our guys focused on the task. we got some high character guys. i don't think that's going to be an issue. You know when you have a tough loss like we had last night, that can be an issue. But I think I know the character of our guys pretty well. They'll battle through this."

Other injuries:

  • Safety Husain Abdullah suffered his second concussion of the season. He'll have to pass the league-mandated third-party medical exam before being allowed to return. Frazier said the team will be particularly careful because it's Abdullah's second concussion of the year.
  • Linebacker Erin Henderson had a slight hamstring injury and will be day to day.
  • Long-snapper Cullen Loeffler hurt a rotator cuff and probably won't practice until Thursday or Friday. Jared Allen is the emergency long snapper, but Frazier said the team would sign a long snapper if they Loeffler can't play. 

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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 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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