Notebook: Griffin takes injury news in stride

Cedric Griffin wasn't sure what kind of timetable the Vikings had for his return from a torn ACL, but Leslie Frazier saying he wouldn't be ready for the season opener didn't seem to surprise him. He talked about his outlook once again. Plus, get several afternoon practice notes.

Hours after defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier let it be known that cornerback Cedric Griffin, who has been on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list since the start of training camp, wouldn't be available for the Week 1 game Sept. 9 at New Orleans, it was Griffin's turn to talk about it.

Griffin has spent much of his time since his surgery in February getting back into condition for when he is allowed to return to the team. But, with the regular-season opener still more than five weeks away, it would seem the injury isn't progressing as fast as some had hoped – although the standard recovery time for such an injury is nine to 12 months and Griffin is only six months removed from the surgery.

When asked if he was aware of the plan before today, Griffin said he's been in the dark throughout the process, deferring to the medical staff to determine how far along he is in his recovery.

"I'm not really sure what's going on," Griffin said. "I'm just going to continue to do my drills and work out like I have been and continue to impress."

Several hours later, Vikings coach Brad Childress wasn't ready to rule out Griffin for the opener, but it's unlikely he will be ready to be active in just over a month.

When Griffin was asked if he felt the injury could have him on the PUP list well into the regular season – if he starts the regular season on the PUP, then he is out at least six week – he said he isn't asking about timetables. He is simply trying to get stronger day by day.

"I let them tell me about my timetable," Griffin said. "I just go out there, work hard and do the best I can."

Griffin had a different vantage point during Monday's practices. He shadowed Frazier most of the day, hoping to get a better understanding of how offenses attack the Vikings defense and seeing what Frazier sees – an attribute appreciated by his coach.

"I think he just wanted to get a different perspective," Frazier said. "He's doing something that he is not accustomed to – sitting and waiting. He just wanted to see some of the things I see and talk through some strategy. I think it will help him when he does get on the field."

How long that will take until he sees the field again in a full-time capacity is still very much unknown and up in the air. Like the Vikings' medical staff and coaches, Griffin said he's going to be patient because the Vikings have addressed the potential void his absence from the lineup has left and he's ready to continue the long road back to being 100 percent.

"I don't believe it's frustrating," Griffin said. "They're being cautious. They're being safe. We've added depth to our team right now – (drafting) Chris Cook, the addition of Lito Sheppard. They're all competing right now and doing a great job. When I come back, it will be another addition to the secondary."

MONDAY AFTERNOON PRACTICE NOTES

  • Rookie Chris DeGeare saw several reps at left guard during Monday's practices, as Steve Hutchinson was given some additional time off.

  • The same five players who missed the morning practice – Griffin, Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, Benny Sapp and John Sullivan – missed the afternoon practice as well. Joining the list was E.J. Henderson, who sat out the second of practice during a two-a-day session as a precaution.

  • The hot, humid weather that was expected didn't materialize. The skies remained cloudy through the first hour of the afternoon practice and, when the sun finally did emerge, there were only about 15 minutes left in the practice.

  • At the start of practice, the only players on the field closest to the fans were the specialists. Cullen Loeffler was snapping punts to Chris Kluwe and kickers Ryan Longwell and Rhys Lloyd were catching them … or at least trying. It's good thing they have kicking skills, because their return efforts leave something to be desired.

  • After a slow start, Kluwe bombed a few punts when the actual return men got on the field, including one that went almost 70 yards on the fly.

  • In the punt return drills, the Vikings were using Taye Biddle, Marcus Sherels and Lito Sheppard.

  • The Vikings pulled out the big oven mitts for receiver drills. In an effort to practice getting separation on man coverage, defenders donned huge blue cushions mitts that went to the elbows, which got slapped away by receivers on the snap.

  • Antoine Winfield sat out some of the afternoon drills, doing extra stretching while his defensive back teammates worked out.

  • In the first play of 11-on-11 drills, Tarvaris Jackson hit Bernard Berrian on a bomb in which he blew past Sheppard in single coverage by using a double move.

  • The practice was cut short by about 20 minutes – the first shortened practice of training camp.

  • Tomorrow the Vikings will practice in full pads, with the first real contact of camp expected.


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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