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Injury Bug Is Testing The Minnesota Vikings Depth At Cornerback

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By Joseph Gunther

The Minnesota Vikings have six cornerbacks on their roster, but three of them are on the injury report. Two suffered serious injuries; one eligible to return next week and one cleared to play this Sunday against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. The third cornerback on the injury report did not practice all week.

The Vikings may be leaning heavily on its three youngest cornerbacks (Josh Robinson, Marcus Sherels and Brandon Burton) to slow down the Rams passing offense.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 25: Chris Cook #20 of the Minnesota Vikings makes a catch before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 25, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

CB Chris Cook (arm)
The third-year veteran was a limited participant in practice Wednesday and Thursday, but was a full participant Friday. He broke his forearm during the Week 8 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is not eligible to return until Week 16, but began practicing last week. He has 31 tackles, one sack and five passes defensed through eight games this season. He has been replaced in the starting lineup by A.J. Jefferson. Status for Sunday: Probable.

CB A.J. Jefferson (concussion)
The third-year veteran did not practice Wednesday, but returned as a limited participant on Thursday and Friday. He was injured during the Week 14 win over the Chicago Bears and has been cleared to play in Sunday’s game. He has 22 tackles and four passes defensed. He has not missed a game since replacing Cook in the starting lineup. Status for Sunday: Probable.

CB Antoine Winfield (knee)
The 14th-year veteran did not practice all week. He has been on the injury report every week since Week 5, but has not missed a game. He has at least had two limited practices, but had not missed all three practices. He is not worried about missing Sunday’s game. He has 93 tackles, half a sack, 10 passes defensed, three interceptions and one fumble recovery.  Status for Sunday: Questionable.

DE Jared Allen (shoulder/back)
The ninth-year veteran was a full participant all week. He was injured during the Week 10 win over the Detroit Lions. He has been on the injury list in previous weeks, but has not missed a game. He has 41 tackles, nine sacks, three passes defensed and a forced fumble this season. Status for Sunday: Probable.

S Robert Blanton (neck)
The rookie was a full participant all week. He was injured in the Week 14 win over the Bears. He has 10 tackles through 11 games this season. He has been on the injured report previously this season, but has not missed a game due to an injury. Status for Sunday: Probable.

LB Jasper Brinkley (shoulder)
The third-year veteran was a limited participant in practice Wednesday and Thursday, but was a full participant Friday. He was injured in the Week 12 loss to the Bears. He has 90 tackles, two passes defensed and two forced fumbles this season. Status for Sunday: Probable.

DT Letroy Guion (shin)
The fifth-year veteran was a full participant all week. He was injured during last week’s practice. He has 28 tackles and two sacks through 12 games this season. He missed the Week 10 win over the Lions with a foot injury. Status for Sunday: Probable.

OT Charlie Johnson (ankle)
The seventh-year veteran was a limited participant in Wednesday and Thursday, but was a full participant Friday. He has been on the injury report previously, but has not missed a game. Status for Sunday: Probable.

P Chris Kluwe (left knee/right groin)
The eighth-year veteran was a full participant all week. He was injured in the Week 8 loss to the Buccaneers. He has not missed a game and averages 44.7 yards per punt with 15 downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. The right groin injury was added to the injury report this week. Status for Sunday: Probable.

OT Phil Loadholt (knee)
The fourth-year veteran was a limited participant in practice Wednesday and Thursday, but was a full participant Friday. He was injured during the Week 12 loss to the Bears, but has not missed a game this season. Status for Sunday: Probable.

RB Adrian Peterson (abdomen)
The sixth-year veteran was a limited participant in practice Wednesday and Friday, but did not participant on Thursday. He has been on the injury report every week this season, but has not missed a game. He has 1,600 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns while catching 38 passes for 211 yards this season. He is not expected to miss the game. Status for Sunday: Probable.

TE Kyle Rudolph (shoulder)
The second-year veteran was a limited participant Wednesday and Thursday, but was a full participant Friday. He was injured in the Week 12 loss to the Bears. He has 45 catches for 412 yards and eight touchdowns in 13 games this season. Status for Sunday: Probable.

The Vikings list probable as a 75 percent chance the player will play, questionable means it is 50 percent, doubtful is 25 percent and out means the player will not play. Due to the Thursday game day, the Vikings did not give statuses for its injured players.

Recap of the Injury Status

Probable:
DE Jared Allen (shoulder)
S Robert Blanton (neck)
LB Jasper Brinkley (shoulder)
CB Chris Cook (arm)
DT Letroy Guion (shin)
CB A.J. Jefferson (concussion)
OT Charlie Johnson (ankle)
P Chris Kluwe (left knee/right groin)
OT Phil Loadholt (knee)
RB Adrian Peterson (abdomen)
TE Kyle Rudolph (shoulder)

Questionable:
CB Antoine Winfield (knee)

For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Vikings news, see CBS Sports Minnesota.

Joseph Gunther is an avid fan of Minnesota sports, including football, hockey and baseball. He covered a wide variety of sports while attending Hastings College in Hastings, Neb. While at Hastings College, he was a part of the first collegiate media group to broadcast a national tournament via television, radio, internet and newspaper at the 2004 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament. He grew up in the Twin Cities playing three years of varsity football in high school. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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