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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Bernard Berrian was a surprise healthy scratch for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday against Arizona, the first time in his career the receiver has not played in a game for a reason other than injury.
Berrian has just two catches for 37 yards this season despite playing more snaps than any other Vikings receiver. He also wrote on Twitter after last week’s loss to Kansas City that he’s been open for the last four years but hasn’t gotten the ball.
Cornerback Antoine Winfield (neck) also was inactive, which was expected after he missed practice all week and was listed as doubtful on Friday.
The Cardinals deactivated tight end Todd Heap (hamstring), punter Dave Zastudil (right knee) and receiver Chansi Stuckey (hamstring), but did have running back Beanie Wells after he was listed as questionable with a hamstring injury.
Wells is coming off a career-high 138 yards rushing and three touchdowns last week against the Giants. Ben Graham was the punter for the Cardinals and Jeff King got the start in place of Heap at tight end.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Monday that he spoke with Berrian after the receiver got in a Twitter spat with a Minnesota state representative who also happens to be a big supporter of the team’s drive for a new stadium. Berrian took exception to Rep. John Kriesel poking fun at him after the 22-17 loss, but Berrian did not know Kriesel was a state lawmaker during the interaction.
Kriesel took responsibility for starting the spat and Berrian said he planned to call and apologize. But perhaps more damaging for Berrian was his response to a fan’s statement that he saw Berrian open at least five times against the Chiefs.
“Been like that the last four years,” Berrian wrote back.
Berrian has largely been a disappointment ever since signing a six-year, $42 million contract that included $16 million in guaranteed money in 2008. He restructured the deal to remain with the team before this season, but hasn’t been able to connect with Donovan McNabb to give the Vikings the downfield threat they sorely need.
Michael Jenkins, who has emerged as McNabb’s most reliable receiver target, got the start for Berrian and Chris Cook started in Winfield’s place at cornerback. Punter Chris Kluwe, listed as questionable on Friday with a hamstring injury, was active for the Vikings.
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