Vikings Notes: Injury Report, Cedric Griffin, and Ramadan
After trimming their roster down to 53 players, the Minnesota Vikings are ready to kickoff the NFL regular season on Thursday night against the New Orleans Saints. Due to the early game this week, the team began their game preparation on Sunday. Consequently, the Vikings released their first official injury report of the 2010 season.
Per Vikings.com, 2 players did not participate in practice today – CB Chris Cook (knee) and DT Jimmy Kennedy (knee). 4 players were limited participants – RB Toby Gerhart (knee), CB Cedric Griffin (knee), S Jamarca Sanford (ankle) and C John Sullivan (ankle). And 1 player was listed as a full participant – QB Brett Favre (ankle).
Perhaps the most surprising name on that list is cornerback Cedric Griffin. After tearing his ACL in the NFC Championship Game just over 7 months ago, Griffin is already participating in practice on a limited basis. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is holding on to “some hope” that Griffin will be able to play in Thursday night’s opener.
“He’s already done far more than we expected when we decided to put him on the 53,” Frazier told reporters after Monday’s practice.
Cedric Griffin also updated reporters on the status of his knee.
“It feels great. If I get a chance to go out there I’m sure I can showcase it for you guys.”
At this point, Griffin’s return for Thursday’s game still remains unlikely, leaving the Vikings with 3 healthy cornerbacks — Antoine Winfield, Lito Sheppard, and Asher Allen — in a game where Sheppard is expecting the Saints to “come out and throw the ball all over.”
Safety Husain Abdullah said he can step in and play cornerback in nickel situations (3 cornerbacks on the field at the same time) if necessary. However, not only would Abdullah be playing out of position, he has also spent the last month observing Ramadan. Specifically, Abdullah has been practicing for the past month, but he hasn’t been eating food or drinking water while the sun is up. Ramadan ends on Thursday at sundown (just in time for the game), but it’s quite possible that Abdullah’s body may take some time to adjust to the demands of a full football game. The third year player out of Washington State is also a regular contributor on a solid special teams unit, so Thursday night could be one of the more tiring celebrations he has ever experienced.
The Vikings began the offseason with a plethora of talented cornerbacks. But after trading Benny Sapp to the Dolphins and rookie Chris Cook suffering a knee injury, the Vikings find themselves one injury away from Drew Brees carving up a pass defense where a safety is forced to play cornerback.
Nevertheless, football is upon us. In 3 short days, we will be watching the Vikings vs. Saints in the Superdome. I can’t wait.