Three Vikings defensive backs injured vs. Browns

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 23, 2013 - 6:35 AM

The Vikings’ secondary was a question entering the season. It became a major concern in Sunday’s 31-27 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Cornerback Chris Cook suffered a groin injury in the first quarter and did not return. His backup, A.J. Jefferson, left the game because of an ankle injury after getting beat on a 47-yard touchdown catch by Josh Gordon.

Safety Jamarca Sanford left the game in the second half because of a hamstring injury. By the end of the game, the Vikings were forced to use three backups in the secondary.

“You don’t want to start getting into your depth this early in the season,” Coach Leslie Frazier said.

Marcus Sherels, the team’s fifth corner, actually played decent in relief, finishing with a team-high eight tackles to go along with two pass breakups.

“Sherels did a good job,” Frazier said. “He made some plays, got his hands on some balls, really competed hard like he always does and put himself in a good position. I thought [safety Andrew] Sendejo did some good things as well when he got in there. Those guys, they stepped up and tried to make some plays.”

The coaching staff elected to play Sherels and Josh Robinson as the cornerbacks in base defense and not Xavier Rhodes because the rookie is strictly playing on the left side in the nickel package.

“He’s getting a ton of reps in the nickel defense because we’re in nickel a lot,” Frazier said. “It worked out fine the way we did it.”

It’s unclear if the injured players will be available next Sunday against the Steelers in London. Cook, in particular, has struggled with injuries throughout his career.

Asked if he thinks he’ll be able to play, he said, “Not sure.”

Run game stuffed

Adrian Peterson rushed for 180 yards and three touchdowns against the Browns in the 2009 opener. The Browns won that matchup Sunday.

Peterson rushed for only 88 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries, averaging just 3.5 yards a carry. The Browns entered the game ranked No. 4 in the NFL in rushing defense and had allowed only 2.0 yards per carry in their first two games.

Cleveland loaded the box with eight defenders consistently and the Vikings line had trouble creating any running lanes for Peterson.

“[Teams] are stacking the box a little more, and those guys on the other side of the ball are pretty good,” Peterson said. “We have to come out and be consistent. All of these short runs of 5 and 6 yards, that’s what you ask for, is the run game being efficient. That opens it up for the pass, and that happened to us. We just had opportunities that we just did not take advantage of. That’s just what it comes down to.”

Peterson also lost a fumble for the second consecutive game. On the play, he found a big hole up the middle early in the third quarter, but linebacker D’Qwell Jackson knocked the ball out of his arm.

Welcome back

Browns receiver Josh Gordon missed the first two games while serving an NFL suspension after violating the substance abuse policy.

Gordon didn’t exactly ease back into action. The Browns targeted him 19 times — no, that’s not a misprint — and he caught 10 passes for 146 yards and one touchdown.

“Obviously he is a game-changer,” Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer said. “He is a big guy and can move, go and get the ball, and he also frees up some other guys.”

No tanking allowed

The Browns’ decision to trade running back Trent Richardson last week prompted plenty of speculation around the league that the team was tanking in order to improve its draft position.

The Browns certainly didn’t play like it.

“Well, we’re never going to quit,” coach Rob Chudzinski said. “The guys in this room aren’t that way, I’m not that way. We’ll never quit. That’s not even in our terminology.”

Cleveland got Indianapolis’ top pick in 2014 for Richardson.

Etc.

• Browns punter Spencer Lanning became the first player with a punt, extra-point attempt and touchdown pass in the same game since Sam Baker in 1968.

• The Vikings showed a new wrinkle on their first touchdown in the first quarter. On first-and-goal from the 2, nose tackle Letroy Guion paved the way as lead blocker on Peterson’s touchdown run.

• After collecting only 10 interceptions last season, the Vikings already have six in three games this season.

• Kevin Williams started his 158th game, passing Hall of Famer Alan Page for most career starts by a Vikings defensive tackle. Jim Marshall (270) holds the team record for most starts by a defensive lineman.

• Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson was credited with two sacks, two tackles for loss, an interception and a pass breakup.

• Vikings rookie linebacker Michael Mauti, a seventh-round pick from Penn State, made his NFL debut.

  • related content

  • Video: Leslie Frazier postgame: Vikings fall to 0-3

    Monday September 23, 2013

    Coach Leslie Frazier addressed the media after the Vikings fell to 0-3 after losing to the Cleveland Browns 31-27...

  • Vikings cornerback Marcus Sherels (35) broke up a pass intended for tight end Jordan Cameron in the second quarter. Sherels saw plenty of action after three members of the Vikings secondary were injured.

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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 19 2nd Qtr
New Orleans 30
Minnesota 19 2nd Qtr
Oklahoma City 25
Orlando 29 2nd Qtr
Memphis 34
Boston 8:00 PM
Utah
Denver 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Army 42 2nd Half 11:04
American Univ 46
Wright State 53 2nd Half 10:06
Detroit 40
Syracuse 62 2nd Half 7:12
North Carolina 68
Cleveland State 47 2nd Half 5:52
Oakland 50
Delaware State 43 2nd Half 6:32
NC Central 44
High Point 50 2nd Half 7:00
Presbyterian 44
Howard 25 2nd Half
Bethune-Cookman 27
Coppin State 23 1st Half 7:00
NC A&T 32
Nicholls 25 2nd Half 20:00
Northwestern St 41
Hampton 25 2nd Half
SC State 31
Gardner-Webb 18 1st Half 6:53
Campbell 23
MD-Eastern Shore 4 1st Half 14:30
Florida A&M 8
Stephen F Austin 21 1st Half 7:38
Lamar 10
Central Arkansas 20 1st Half 7:46
New Orleans 33
Norfolk State 25 1st Half 4:52
Savannah State 17
TX A&M-CC 14 1st Half 7:20
SE Louisiana 15
Sam Houston St 24 1st Half 11:10
Abilene Christian 9
McNeese State 34 1st Half 4:50
Incarnate Word 27
Milwaukee 5 1st Half 5:34
Valparaiso 30
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Alabama A&M
Southern U 7:30 PM
Alabama State
Prairie View 8:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Texas 8:00 PM
Iowa State
Texas Southern 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
Southern U 52 2nd Half 0:28
Alabama State 49
(12) Texas A&M 44 2nd Half 9:01
(1) South Carolina 60
Robert Morris 65 2nd Half 2:27
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 64 2nd Half 5:04
Mercer 55
Wofford 47 2nd Half 9:06
Furman 37
Morehead St 61 2nd Half 2:55
Tenn Tech 48
Illinois 43 2nd Half 10:29
Michigan 53
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
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Auburn
(15) Nebraska 8:00 PM
(20) Iowa
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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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