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.


Frazier: `Cedric is not in my doghouse'

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Lions, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Cedric Griffin, Leslie Frazier Updated: December 12, 2011 - 2:01 PM

The biggest news to come out of Winter Park today was no news regarding embattled cornerback Cedric Griffin. He's still on the team and apparently not going anywhere anytime soon.

Benched in the first quarter of Sunday's loss in Detroit, there was some speculation that Griffin might have played his last down with the Vikings. After the game, Griffin hinted it might be time to start fresh somewhere else after the season.

Asked what it might take to turn his career around, Griffin said, "If it's next year, hopefully, it's with a different mindset, a different group. It's just kind of frustrating."

Coach Leslie Frazier said today that he hasn't spoken to Griffin since the game, nor had he read Griffin's comments. But Frazier made it clear that Griffin won't be released any time soon.

"Cedric is not in my doghouse," Frazier said. "He's a guy who has worked extremely hard for us and battled back from tough injuries. He's had some moments that are a little bit difficult. But I haven't given up on him. He hasn't given up on himself. We'll revisit things this week as we prepare for our next opponent and see where he fits at that point. But he's not in my doghouse at all."

Frazier said he has been talking to Griffin about his lack of confidence for a few weeks now.

"It's been something that's been ongoing," Frazier said. "He's not playing with the confidence that I know he is capable of having. He's made some plays for us ... I don't ever want him to get down because that position. It's hard to play corner in our league if you don't play with confidence. You're going to get beat at times, but you have to believe in yourself and your abilities in order to be successful at that position."

Griffin was benched after giving up a 57-yard touchdown pass to Titus Young. While the other corners were pressing at the line of scrimmage, Griffin played off the line and let Young get a clean run on a go route.

"It's hard for me to explain that one," Frazier said. "He's executed that technique time and time again in his career here. So to not get it done on that play, I'm not certain why that didn't happen. I know he's capable of doing it and I've seen him do it a number of times."

In other news:

  • Like everyone who has seen the replay, Frazier said Joe Webb's facemask clearly was grabbed by linebacker DeAndre Levy. The penalty wasn't called and the game ended with the Lions recovering Webb's fumble. Frazier didn't blame the loss on that play, saying there were many other moments in the game -- particularly the five turnovers before that play -- that affected the game's outcome as well. Frazier, however, did say he'll send that play to the league along with others to be reviewed.
  • WR Stephen Burton injured a medial collateral ligament in his knee. He won't need surgery, but won't be able to return before the end of the season. The rookie will be placed on injured reserve.
  • Practice squad receiver Manny Arceneaux -- or "Manny-tron" as he told Dan Wiederer for Sunday's story on practice squad players -- will be promoted to the active roster. The Vikings will look to add another receiver to the practice squad.
  • Frazier said Christian Ponder's hip pointer didn't get any worse in Sunday's game.
  • The cramps that caused rookie safety Mistral Raymond to leave the game have been a concern for the team for awhile. Frazier said the team has been emphasizing the need for Raymond to stay hydrated.
  • The Vikings announced they still have 3,500 unsold tickets for Sunday's game against the Saints. They have to sell out by noon Thursday to keep their streak of sellouts alive. The Vikings haven't had a game blacked out at home since the end of the 1997 season.

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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 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
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Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
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Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
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