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Terence Newman, Anthony Harris starting at safety, Trae Waynes at CB for Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are shaking up their defensive backfield because of injuries as they face the NFL’s top-ranked offense.

Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said this week that Terence Newman won’t have to start at safety. Days later, Terence Newman is starting at safety.

The move is made because Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo are inactive with injuries and Antone Exum was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday. Rookie Anthony Harris, called up from the practice squad this week, will start alongside Newman.

“I’ve played a lot of football in my life so I’m pretty comfortable with whatever they ask me to do,” Newman told Viking Update this week. “If they need me, I’ll be there.”

The movement in the defensive backfield means that it will be the first start at safety for Newman and the first starts for rookie cornerback Trae Waynes, taking Newman’s usual spot, and Harris.

In addition to Sendejo and Smith being inactive, nose tackle Linval Joseph and linebackers Anthony Barr and Brandon Watts were declared out on Wednesday. Along with them, QB Taylor Heinicke and C Nick Easton are inactive.

Newman also played coy with the possibility of playing safety this week.

“In the future we’ll probably definitely have to visit that situation, but right now I don’t think it’s much of a conversation just for the simple fact that I think I’ve played 11 games at corner,” Newman said.

He did, however, say that he believed safety is the easier position.

“The safety part to me is much easier, I guess, for me to study because I don’t have to look as much at the receivers, but I definitely have to approach it as I’m going to play corner,” he said. “And then the safety part, it’s more what to do. So I think taking it from that aspect, you must prepare as a corner and then the safety part is pretty much the same. I just know what I have to do, where I have to fit and where I have to be at.”

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