Injuries are again front and center with the Vikings as the team takes off today to New York for their game with the Giants. While there has been reason for optimism that even if Adrian Peterson doesn't play Sunday – he's currently listed as questionable (50-50 to play) – that he will likely be on track to return next week against the Lions, the same isn't the case for Antoine Winfield.
Winfield, who missed two games earlier this month with a hamstring injury, tried to return last week against the Raiders, only to tweak the injury and be sat down at halftime. He is listed as doubtful on the team's injury report, which by NFL standards means he has about a 25 percent chance of playing Sunday. If he can't go, rookie Marcus McCauley will again get the start – the third start of his pro career.
Two other Vikings – fullback Tony Richardson (questionable, knee) and safety Eric Frampton (groin, probable) – are also listed on the team's final injury report.
* Matt Birk missed practice Friday due to a death in his family, but he is expected to re-join the team for the flight to New York today. On Friday, Ryan Cook and Anthony Herrera alternated snaps at center in practice. Birk is expected to make his 102nd career start Sunday, which would pass Dennis Swilley for No. 2 in team history. That's the good news for Birk. The bad news is that he would have to start every game between now and Week 4 of the 2016 season to catch team leader Mick Tingelhoff (240).
* Good news for Vikings fans is that the Giants have ruled out running back Brandon Jacobs for Sunday's game with a hamstring injury. The Giants running back depth will be severely tested since backup Derrick Ward is listed as doubtful with a combination of an ankle and groin injury.
* Don't read too much about Plaxico Burress being listed as questionable with an ankle injury. Burress hasn't practiced in almost two months and has been listed as questionable for the last several weeks, but has played in every game.
* The only other Giant on the injury report is safety Gibril Wilson, who is listed as a probable with a knee injury.
* The Vikings' Peterson and Chester Taylor are Nos. 1 and 2 in average per rushing attempt with A.P. at 6.4 yards a carry and Taylor at 5.6 yards a carry. If the Vikings maintain their current pace of 5.9 yards a carry, it would be the highest team rushing average in NFL history for a single season.
* The Vkkings have named Herrera (offense), Chad Greenway (defense) and Vinny Ciurciu (special teams) as their captains for Sunday's game.
* In an effort to get gamblers to bet against the Patriots, the team was installed as a 20-point favorite against the Eagles Sunday night. With Donovan McNabb now ruled out, bettors who got in early might be thinking that is an easy cover.
Winfield Out Again?
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