By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Vikings’ test with San Francisco is just part of the challenge for Antoine Winfield.

His years in the league help him understand this team needs to get better quickly, and the recent loss in his life helps him understand a bigger picture.

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Winfield recently shared at a team meeting that he wants his team to play at a higher level.

“We have some work to do and that’s why we had the meeting the other day,” Winfield said. “I stressed to them to get in that film room and get prepared,” Winfield said.

They listen because of who he is.

“He’s just a smart player man,” Chris Cook said. “He definitely helps us in the DB room.”

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Winfield’s football career and life were tragically interrupted recently as his little brother was shot in the head and killed. That left an older brother in shock.

“It’s been rough, but it’s been good being around the guys, laughing and taking my mind off it,” Winfield said.

At least this week he has a smile. He will play football against his friend, Randy Moss.

It’s all part of what Winfield loves about this game.

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“For me, I continue to have fun,” Winfield said. “I enjoy coming to work, but my window is closing. This is year 14 for me. I try to enjoy each day.”

Mike Max