Cedric Griffin (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)
Vikings CB Cedric Griffin is not in Leslie Frazier’s doghouse, the head coach said Monday, but he hadn’t yet seen Griffin’s comments indicating he would ask for his release after the season. Plus, the Vikings made two injury-related roster moves.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Monday that CB Cedric Griffin wasn’t in his doghouse, despite comments that Griffin made after Sunday’s 34-28 loss to the Detroit Lions, insinuating that he would ask for his release.
However, Frazier also said he hadn’t seen any of Griffin’s comments either.
“Cedric's not in my doghouse. He's a guy who has worked extremely hard for us and battled back from some tough injuries,” Frazier said. “He's had some moments that are a little bit difficult, but I haven't given up on him and I hope that he hasn't given up on himself. We'll revisit things this week as we prepare for our next opponent and just see where he fits at that point. He's not in my doghouse at all.”
The Vikings benched Griffin after he gave up a 57-yard touchdown to Titus Young in the first quarter. Griffin didn’t jam Young at the line of scrimmage and safety Jamarca Sanford wasn’t able to get to Young before the receiver was stepping into the end zone.
"It was a team decision so I'm going to make my decision what I got to do after the season and they're going to make their decision," Griffin told reporters after the game.
Griffin declined an interview request in the locker room Monday, but Sanford also said that getting a jam on Griffin would have helped the coverage.
“It would've slowed his speed. You know, he wouldn't have got to me so fast. But, you know, like I said, they did a good job of putting Calvin (Johnson) in the slot and anytime, anywhere with Calvin, you've got to pay attention to where he's at. He pumped to Calvin so I bit to Calvin a little bit, and he went to (Young). Just a good job by them executing their job and not us executing it, not getting a re-route and not getting over the top of Ced and helping him out."
At his noon press conference Monday, Frazier said he hadn’t talked with Griffin yet but figured that conversation would happen sometime in the future. But Frazier maintained that Griffin was supposed to make contact with Young and re-route him to at least throw off the timing of the route.
“It’s hard for me to explain that one. He’s executed that technique time and time again in his career here,” Frazier said. “So to not get it done on that play, I’m not certain why that didn’t happen. I know he’s capable of doing it. I’ve seen him do it a number of times.”
Frazier said he has talked with Griffin about having confidence, but after two surgeries in the last two years to repair his anterior cruciate ligaments, Griffin’s physical condition could be affecting his approach on the field.
“Coming off them knees, it's something serious,” Sanford said. “Ced, he tore two knees in two years. I mean, it's tough on him, but we still believe in him and we know what we can do and we're just going to keep working with him. I know he's a competitor and he's going to do whatever it takes to keep getting better."
WR BURTON TO I.R., ARCENEAUX ACTIVATED
The Vikings placed rookie wide receiver Stephen Burton on injured reserve Monday after he suffered damage to the medial collateral ligament in one of his knees. While he won't need surgery, according to head coach Leslie Frazier, Burton wouldn't have been able to make it back to play before the season finale on Jan. 1.
"It should be able to heal in time (for next year) without surgery, which was good news," Frazier said.
Burton spent the first seven weeks of the season on the Vikings' practice squad before being promoted following the release of WR Bernard Berrian.
Burton's season ends with two catches for 38 yards.
The Vikings promoted rookie WR Emmanuel Arceneaux to the 53-man roster after placing Stephen Burton on injured reserve.
Arceneaux had been on the Vikings’ practice squad for the first 13 games of the season.
The previous two seasons, he played for the BC Lions of the CFL. Last year, he led the Lions with 67 receptions for 1,114 yards and five touchdowns. In his only playoff game last year, he caught five passes for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Frazier said Joe Webb definitely had his facemask grabbed on the final play and the Vikings would include that play among those they send into the league on a weekly basis to get an explanation. However, Frazier pointed out that five turnovers before that final play also contributed to the Vikings’ loss.
QB Christian Ponder came out of the game “no worse for wear” after being questionable on Friday with a hip pointer.
DE Brian Robison is expected to be OK after leaving the game early in the fourth quarter with a left knee injury. Robison returned to action before the end of the game.
Frazier said the team is optimistic that RB Adrian Peterson will return to action against the New Orleans Saints after sitting out the last three games with a high ankle sprain.
As of Monday, the Vikings had about 3,500 tickets remaining for the Saints game on Sunday. Last week at this time, they had about 6,500 remaining for that game.
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.