Winfield Out At Least Sunday

With the final quarter of the 2004 NFC race ready to start Sunday, the Vikings will be without Antoine Winfield for at least Sunday -- and most likely longer.

It was rather impressive to see the Vikings' official injury report submitted to the league Wednesday. Only three players -- Matt Birk, Antoine Winfield and Raonall Smith -- were listed. Birk was listed as "out" and Smith and Winfield were listed as doubtful.

But the fact of the matter is that all three are out for Sunday's game. VU got confirmation Wednesday that not only will Winfield miss Sunday's game, but will likely also be out for next week's game at Detroit.

If that's the case, the Packers game will be the target date for the return of both Winfield and Birk. They could use both of them as soon as possible -- but only if they're healthy.

* In place of Winfield, veteran Terrance Shaw will get the start. Derek Ross, who nearly was released Monday, will resume duties as the nickel back and Ralph Brown will serve as dime back. Of the top four corners on the roster Sunday, only Brian Williams was with the team on opening day vs. the Cowboys.
* VU has been told Chris Hovan will likely be activated Sunday and Steve Martin is the most likely candidate to be deactivated.
* As if the Seahawks don't have enough problems defensively, their depth is being tested severely by injuries. On the defensive line, tackles Marcus Tubbs (ankle) and Rocky Bernard (knee) are out and DT Cedric Woodard (knee) is questionable. At linebacker, Chad Brown (knee) is doubtful and Tracy White (hamstring) is questionable. In the secondary, cornerback Bobby Taylor (knee) is doubtful and safety Terreal Bierria (back) is questionable. The over/under on this one may have to be 80 points if this keeps up.
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