Pro Bowl cornerback Antoine Winfield said he won't play Sunday against the Detroit Lions but hopes to be in the lineup the following week against the Seattle Seahawks.
“I'm close,” he said. “I've been working the last, what, four weeks, three weeks trying to get this injury [healed]. … I feel like next week. I've been out the last couple of days running on it, testing it. It’s good going forward but I still have a little problem cutting. But I would say next week I should be OK.”
Winfield injured his right foot in the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 18. He missed the second half of that game and the two games before the bye.
“Of course it’s frustrating,” he said. “You want to get out there and help the guys win and play well. But it’s all a process. This is a physical game, a rough sport. It’s funny how my injury didn’t happen with me hitting someone. I was at the line. I planted and tried to open up and my foot rolled. That was it. I thought it was my ankle at first but it was the foot.”
There were reports that Winfield fractured his foot but Winfield and the team only described it as a sprain.
“Absolutely I was worried,” he said. “At first I thought it was my ankle. I thought I just rolled my ankle or something. But the next play I knew I couldn’t go. That’s when I walked off to the sideline. But hopefully everything calms down and I’ll be out there against Seattle.”
Winfield said he’s received treatment basically all day every day since suffering the injury.
“I’ve been here every day since Baltimore,” he said. “Every since that Monday I’ve been living in that training room.”
Winfield, however, said they didn’t want to rush his recovery because the team needs him to be healthy late in the season and the postseason.
“Myself and the training staff have been doing a good job of taking it slow, trying to make sure everything is 100 percent before I step back on the field,” he said. “A lot of guys try and come back from injuries real early and something else happens. Hopefully we won’t do that.”
Winfield said the fact that the Vikings are 7-1 and playing well made it easier to take that approach.
“That definitely helps,” he said. “It gives me a chance to heal up and not try and rush back and having something else flare up and me be out a few more weeks.”
Winfield returned to practice this week and had limited participation. He did a lot of running but said he’s still not quite 100 percent.
“It felt good,” he said. “No soreness. I’ve been running every day since Monday. The straight ahead and side to side [running] is coming along. It’s just the planting. Anytime I plant and drive I still feel it a little bit. Give it a few more days rest and hopefully it will calm down and be ready to go against Seattle.”