Winfield Back To Bolster Secondary

Minnesota was torched by Aaron Rodgers and Co. with Antoine Winfield sidelined for the Oct. 23 matchup. Winfield will be back in action on Monday night against Green Bay after a four-game absence.

The last time the Minnesota Vikings faced Aaron Rodgers, the Packers quarterback started off 13-for-13 and went into halftime 17-for-20 with the only incompletions being two drops and a spike to stop the clock.

"Looking at film of him, he looked almost unstoppable," said backup cornerback Marcus Sherels, who was forced into the nickel back role that day because of Antoine Winfield's neck injury and Chris Cook's arrest the day before.

Three weeks later, the Vikings get their rematch at Lambeau Field on "Monday Night Football."

Cook, who faces a felony domestic assault charge, won't play. But Winfield will return after missing the past four games because of the strained ligament in his neck.

"It sure was great to have Antoine back at practice," coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday. "We'll have to watch him during the course of the game to see if he's playing like the Antoine that we know."

Winfield's return and Frazier's decision to stick with the struggling Cedric Griffin at right cornerback means Asher Allen, who started the past two games, will be the nickel back. Winfield will move into the slot when the Vikings use five defensive backs.

The Vikings are hoping it helps them stop the red-hot Rodgers, who completed 24-of-30 passes for 335 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 146.5 passer rating in the 33-27 win over the Vikings at the Metrodome on Oct. 23.

As for Cook, he had his suspension lifted after one game, but won't be seen around the team anytime soon.

"Chris Cook will remain on our 53-man roster but will not participate in our football activities at this time," the Vikings said in a release issued to the media on Monday. "We have met with Chris and spoken with his agent and have agreed that currently Chris should focus on his off-the-field matters."

Cook missed two games after being arrested for allegedly choking his girlfriend on Oct. 22. He was in jail for the Oct. 23 game against the Packers and suspended by the team without pay for the Carolina game a week later. The Vikings had a bye last week.

Asked if Cook, 24, a second-year player who once had a promising future as a big, instinctive corner, was in the team's plans long term, Frazier said, "It's tough to say today as we stand here in November considering the situation and not knowing how it's going to play out. It's hard to look into the future."

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