Herrera to get second opinion on his knee
Anthony Herrera (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)
Anthony Herrera (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)
Posted Oct 25, 2011

Anthony Herrera, the Vikings’ starting right guard, could have his season cut short after re-injuring his surgically repaired left knee. It was just one piece of news in a busy Monday at Winter Park.

A busy news day left the Vikings with one starter facing a season-ending knee injury, another starter looking at possibly being released and a third starter still in jail awaiting a court appearance on Tuesday morning after being arrested on probable cause for domestic assault, a felony-level offense.

Right guard Anthony Herrera injured his left anterior cruciate knee ligament in Sunday's 33-27 loss to the Packers. It's the same ACL that he tore last year when he missed the final six games of the season.

The initial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test revealed damage to the ACL. Herrera wants to get a second medical opinion before deciding what to do. If he can't play, the team is expected to start rookie sixth-round draft pick Brandon Fusco. Fusco replaced Herrera on Sunday and did well, despite coming from Division II Slippery Rock and having never played right guard in his life. A center in college, he hadn't played guard since he was a left guard in high school.

Meanwhile, receiver Bernard Berrian bumped heads with coach Leslie Frazier again. Frazier won't provide details, but Berrian was a surprise game-day inactive for the second time in three weeks. Three weeks ago, it was reportedly for missing two team meetings.

"There's just some things that he and I have to talk about to make sure that we get on the same page about what direction we want to go in," Frazier said Monday before the two met. "We're going to have a little meeting of the minds and see where we are."

Berrian said the two will meet again Tuesday morning for a final resolution. Although Berrian said he still wants to be part of the team, he's expected to be released. He would leave the team having had little impact on the team the past three seasons. He has seven catches this season.

Cornerback Chris Cook's fate isn't in the team's hands. He'll be in court Tuesday as he awaits possible charges stemming from his arrest early Saturday.

"As we get more clarity on what's going on with Chris, then we'll act accordingly," Frazier said. "But we'll try to get clarity hopefully in the next few days and go from there."

Cook started two games in place of the injured Antoine Winfield (neck). With Cook and Winfield out, third-stringer Asher Allen was forced to start against the Packers. Marcus Sherels, the dime back, was bumped up to the nickel back, and the team ditched plans to use more dime packages.

That's some of the baggage that a 1-6 Vikings team carries with it into its week of preparation for Sunday's game at Carolina.


  • WR Percy Harvin missed the second half of Sunday's game because of his recurring rib injury. He was expected to have an MRI done on Monday to make sure it's not serious. He caught two balls for 15 yards in the first half, but both went for first downs.

  • C John Sullivan missed Sunday's game because of concussions. It's possible that Sullivan could be challenged by backup Joe Berger when he returns. Berger is bigger and stronger and holds the front of the pocket better. Berger started 14 games at center in Miami last season.

  • SS Jamarca Sanford also missed the game because of a concussion. He'll likely regain his starting job because backup Tyrell Johnson has never been able to retain the starting job, despite being the preferred candidate this summer.

  • QB Christian Ponder converted 5 of 7 third-down situations in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game. He converted four via the pass on third-and-long and one with a 12-yard run against a six-man blitz on third-and-7. With veteran Donovan McNabb at quarterback in the fourth quarter of the team's first five games (Ponder also played the fourth quarter in Week 6 at Chicago), the Vikings converted only 4 of 15 third downs.

  • CB Antoine Winfield will try to return to full participation in practice for the first time since straining his neck in the Oct. 2 loss at Kansas City. Winfield is being extra cautious because it's a neck injury. His style of play is so physical, he can't play unless the stiffness in the neck is completely gone. The Vikings are letting the 13-year veteran make the call on when he'll return.

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