Vikings look to sign CB Sapp, Winfield to IR
Benny Sapp (Larry French/Getty)
Benny Sapp (Larry French/Getty)
Posted Nov 15, 2011
Tim Yotter

The Vikings are in the process of further mending their ailing secondary after Antoine Winfield’s season-ending fractured clavicle. They are looking to a familiar face in CB Benny Sapp.

With Antoine Winfield slated for season-ending surgery to repair his fractured clavicle on Wednesday, the Vikings are wasting no time in finding a replacement.

The team is flying in former Vikings cornerback Benny Sapp on Tuesday night, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. The team will work him out and would likely try to sign him before Wednesday morning’s walk-through practice if he passes the team’s physical.

Sapp played for Minnesota from 2008-2009 before being traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2010 for receiver Greg Camarillo. Over his two seasons with the Vikings, Sapp started 11 of the 30 games he played, registering 66 tackles, eight passes defensed and two interceptions.

Sapp came to the Vikings in 2008 after spending his first four seasons in the league with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he started six games and had two interceptions.

After being traded to the Dolphins, Sapp started six of the 16 games he played in 2010. This year, he played in only one game and is remembered most for giving up a 99-yard touchdown to New England Patriots receiver Wes Welker in the Dolphins’ season-opening 38-24 loss.

Frazier said the Vikings would look at veteran cornerbacks familiar with their system and young players to develop, but bringing in Sapp is a sign they want someone who can play immediately.

“We're discussing both. We're discussing the possibility of looking to see who might add something to us right now that could be a factor in the future, as well as a guy who can help us now who may be a veteran guy,” Frazier said. “So we're discussing a little bit of both.”

Cornerback isn’t the only position where the Vikings are hurting. Safety Husain Abdullah suffered his second concussion in the last month, both of them coming against the Green Bay Packers, and will be evaluated during the week and will have to pass the league’s mandated post-concussion tests before he can be cleared to play.

“When you are where we are with our secondary, you are constantly assessing the secondary because where we are now with Antoine down, you have to assess what's the best thing going forward,” Frazier said. “Will that mean bringing in a veteran guy who can help us in the short term, or does that mean bringing in a guy who we can work with and maybe develop? There will be a constant assessment of where we are with our secondary. We're thinning out.”

The Vikings had planned to get rookie safety Mistral Raymond more involved with the defense, but his snaps were accelerated in Monday night’s loss once Abdullah suffered his injury.


  • Frazier confirmed that X-rays on QB Christian Ponder’s non-throwing hand came back negative after his left hand got stepped on. “He just has a little soreness and should be fine,” Frazier said.

  • LB Erin Henderson had a “slight” hamstring injury, according to Frazier, who termed him day-to-day.

  • Long snapper Cullen Loeffler hurt his rotator cuff and the Vikings hope to get him back to limited practice later in the week. Jared Allen is the backup long snapper, but if Loeffler can’t play, Frazier indicated the Vikings would sign a free agent to take Loeffler’s place for Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders.

    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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