GREEN BAY, WIS. -- With Husain Abdullah out because of a concussion, Tyrell Johnson will start at strong safety for the Vikings in tonight's game against the Packers.
Johnson, a second-round pick in 2008, was the starter at the position last season for the Vikings but lost the job in training camp to Abdullah and had been inactive for the past three games. Jamarca Sanford also plays strong safety and coach Brad Childress said last Friday that he expected both Sanford and Johnson to play against the Packers.
As expected, center John Sullivan will return after not playing the past two games because of a calf injury. Childress indicated that Sullivan and Jon Cooper both could play tonight.
Antoine Winfield and Asher Allen will start at cornerback but Lito Sheppard is inactive after suffering a hand injury last Sunday against Dallas. Sheppard played in the nickel package and was on the field for all three Cowboys touchdown passes against. Rookie Chris Cook was on the field in the pregame warmups and is expected to return after missing the past two games because of a knee injury.
However, people with knowledge of the situation said the Vikings worked to get newcomer Frank Walker up to speed this week and that he could end up being used in the nickel to lessen Cook's workload.
The Vikings other inactives are Joe Webb (third quarterback); wide receiver Hank Baskett; running back Albert Young; linebacker Erin Henderson; offensive lineman Chris DeGeare; and defensive tackle Fred Evans.
Everson Griffen, a fourth-round pick by the Vikings last April, will be active for a game for the first time this season.
For the Packers, linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring) and defensive lineman Ryan Pickett (ankle) are both active after being listed as questionable on the injury report. Right tackle Mark Tauscher (shoulder) is inactive and will be replaced by rookie Bryan Bulaga.
Green Bay's inactive list includes fullback Quinn Johnson; linebackers Brady Poppinga (knee), and Maurice Simpkins; offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Marshall Newhouse (back); and defensive ends Mike Neal (shoulder) and Michael Montgomery.