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.


Vikings looking for help at corner?

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Antoine Winfield, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Vikings training camp Updated: September 1, 2010 - 11:22 AM

A week ago the Vikings were confident enough in their situation at cornerback that they traded veteran Benny Sapp to the Miami Dolphins for wide receiver Greg Camarillo.

The move seemed to make sense given the Vikings were looking to fill the void left by Sidney Rice's hip surgery and the uncertainty surrounding Percy Harvin's issues with migraine headaches. Today, however, the Vikings might be wishing Sapp wasn't the guy they dealt.

With rookie corner Chris Cook expected to miss at least two weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus, the Vikings depth chart at cornerback now looks like this: LCB Antoine Winfield, RCB Lito Sheppard, nickel Asher Allen, reserves DeAndre Wright and Marcus Sherels.

Wright and Sherels were considered long shots to make the roster and Sheppard appeared to have been beaten out for the starting job by Cook. It now seems logical to conclude that in addition to looking for backup help on the offensive line this weekend when NFL teams make final cuts that the Vikings also are going to take a long look at what corners become available.

The Baltimore Ravens acquired cornerback Josh Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday for a fifth-round draft pick. Wilson was a second-round pick by the Seahawks in 2007 and started 23 games over the past two seasons.

One key issue for the Vikings is that they will open the season a week from Thursday night in New Orleans against a Drew Brees-led offense that finished first in the NFL last season and will have the capability to attack the Vikings' through the air

Brees is certain to go right at Sheppard, who entered training camp working with the Vikings' first team but appeared to fall behind Cook. Brees is certain to know this. He led the NFL last season with a 109.6 passer rating last season and was sixth in the league with 4,388 yards passing, 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

New Orleans has the capability to deploy four wide receivers, if it wants, and could line up a group that includes Marques Colston (70 receptions, 1,074 yards, 9 touchdowns in 2009), Devery Henderson (51-804-2), Robert Meachem (45-722-9) and Lance Moore (14-153-2).

Meachem, who along with Henderson serves as a deep threat, has been slowed by a toe injury but is expected to play. The other issue in the Saints passing game will be how they use Jeremy Shockey, who was third on the team with 48 receptions last season.

As for Cook's recovery, our friend Kevin Seifert, who authors the NFC North blog for ESPN.com, talked to ESPN injury analyst Stephania Bell about how long the rookie might be out. Bell told Seifert the generally accepted time period to recover from surgery to repair meniscus tears is four weeks. That would mean Cook could be out until the Vikings game on Oct. 11 against the New York Jets.

That would be even more reason for the Vikings to address their situation at cornerback by looking outside the organization. By the way, Sapp seems to have a very good chance to be the nickel back in Miami.

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