The Vikings have gotten along without Pro Bowl CB Antoine Winfield, but with him listed as doubtful on the injury report, his backups are also feeling the effects of playing more.
The Vikings released their final injury report Friday and it could be giving Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck
and his receiver trio of T.J. Houshmandzadeh
, Nate Burleson
and Deion Branch
plenty to get excited about Sunday.
is once again listed as doubtful with a foot injury suffered last month against Baltimore. Reports came out initially after the injury that Winfield had a fracture in the foot and could miss four to six weeks. Winfield and the team immediately denied the report, saying that there wasn't a break and that he could potentially play against both Pittsburgh or Green Bay. He didn't, Given the bye week that came in the middle of Winfield's absence, Sunday would make it five weeks that he has been sidelined.
Vikings coach Brad Childress said on Friday that he saw a lot of progress from Wednesday to Thursday in Winfield's injury.
"He's going to make a push to Sunday. I'm not 1,000 percent sure he's going to make it there, but I know that he is still going to work," Childress said.
What makes it more troubling for the Vikings that Winfield likely won't be available again is that Karl Paymah
and Benny Sapp
, who have been filling in while Winfield has been on the shelf, are both dinged up. Paymah wasn't listed on the Wednesday injury report, but suffered an ankle injury that limited him in both Thursday's and Friday's practice. He is listed as questionable on the injury report, which basically says he has a 50-50 chance of playing. Sapp, who is trying to recover from a groin injury, is listed as probable but was limited in practice all three days.
The Vikings have been able to effectively avoid serious injuries this season, but the potential for the Vikings have to dig deep into their secondary depth Sunday could become an issue. The last thing a veteran like Hasselbeck needs is a Vikings secondary weakened by injury. For a team watching its 2009 season go up in flames, they may see this as an opportunity to take more deep shots down the field and try to take advantage of what looks like a liability for the Vikings on Sunday.
As has become the habit, after being limited on Wednesday and Thursday, Brett Favre participated fully in Friday's practice and is listed as probable. Given the malaise over comments Favre has made about different injuries, don't be surprised to see him listed on the injury report every week – similar to Tom Brady and his weekly "Probable (right shoulder)" entry.
E.J. Henderson practiced fully for the third straight day and is also listed as probable.
Bernard Berrian remains questionable with a hamstring injury and he was limited in practice again Friday. Barring a setback, he is expected to be active Sunday.
Defensive end Jayme Mitchell was added to the injury report Friday because he didn't practice due to illness. He is listed as probable.
For Seattle, four starters are listed on the final injury report. After starting the first eight games, running back Julius Jones is out with a chest injury. Cornerback Josh Wilson is doubtful with symptoms from a concussion. CB Marcus Trufant, who is also listed with a concussion, is probable for Sunday, as is center Chris Spencer, who is battling both back problems and a thumb injury – not a good combo platter for a center.
With blackouts starting to occur for the bad teams more often around the NFL, the St. Louis Rams purchased the remaining tickets for their game with the Cardinals Sunday. Considering it's a divisional matchup against the division leader and brings back Kurt Warner, who led the Rams to their only championship, it has to be a troubling sign.
Two Seahawks defensive players were fined by the league for violations made last week. Safety Deon Grant was fined $5,000 for instigating a shoving match with Beanie Wells and safety Jordan Babineaux was fined $7,500 for a horse collar tackle on Anquan Boldin.
Apparently the Seahawks had their media guide photos taken at Sears. Every year, teams release media guides with photos, stats and history on the players and coaches. In the Seahawks media guide, none of the players is looking into the camera. Instead, they're gazing off to their left, with humorous results. Some look as though they've seen a friend slip on the ice, others look angry and even more look confused. If there was ever a group photo submission at AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com, this is sure to be it.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.