Leslie Frazier (Thomas J. Russo/US Presswire)
The Vikings still haven’t filled their 53rd roster spot and Leslie Frazier said the Vikings “want to exhaust all avenues” to improve the roster, acknowledging the trade deadline Thursday.
As the Vikings enter the heaviest days of preparation for Sunday’s game at Seattle, they still haven’t filled the final roster spot left open after cornerback Chris Cook was placed on injured reserve Friday.
Is it coincidence that the NFL’s trade deadline is Thursday (moved back two days because Superstorm Sandy shut down the NFL offices on Monday and Tuesday)?
“It’s different factors. Without giving too much away, the trade deadline is Thursday, so you want to do everything you can,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said when asked if the deadline was a factor in not filling the 53rd roster spot yet. “I know Rick (Spielman, the team’s general manager) and our personnel department is doing everything we can to improve our team and help our team be better. You want to exhaust all avenues in doing that.”
The Vikings continue to work out “street” free agents – in the past week they have worked out a punter, a defensive back and linemen, Frazier said – but he was expectedly vague when asked questions surrounding trade possibilities.
“Yeah, we’re approaching that trade deadline, but I like our guys. I like the guys that we have,” Frazier said.
Although trades aren’t commonplace during the season, the Vikings have two players on their current roster that they acquired via trade.
Before the 2008 NFL Draft, they traded a first-round pick and two third-rounders for defensive end Jared Allen, who led the league with 22 sacks last year. Before the start of this season, they also traded with the Arizona Cardinals to acquire cornerback A.J. Jefferson, who will have an increased role with the team after Cook’s injury.
Cook, meanwhile, was back at Winter Park Wednesday with his broken right arm in a sling. He suffered the broken arm early in the third quarter of last Thursday night’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and had surgery in the following days. He is expected to be out of action for seven to eight weeks. The Vikings (5-3) placed him on injured reserve with the designation for return in case they make the playoffs.
PREPPING FOR THE 12th MAN
As usual, when the Vikings are scheduled to play on the road, they pump noise into their practices to help them deal with it. Seattle Seahawks fans are known for being particularly loud, so Frazier said that will be part of the Vikings’ practice routine this week.
“Their fans do a good job of getting in the game early, making it hard on offenses and teams in general, much like our fans here when we have it going,” Frazier said. “It’s a tough, tough place to play at Mall of America Field. Their environment is similar in that way. You don’t want to fall too far behind in that environment. It can be tough.”
TE John Carlson still hasn’t been cleared to play after suffering a concussion Oct. 21 against the Arizona Cardinals while covering a punt. Carlson was the Vikings’ top free-agent signing this season – they gave him a five-year, $25 million contract – but he has struggled to get involved in the passing game. He has only six targets and three receptions for 8 yards.
LB Tyrone McKenzie wasn’t at practice Wednesday, as he and his wife are having their first child.
The Vikings had four players limited in Wednesday's practice: S Mistral Raymond (ankle), CB Antoine Winfield (knee), WR Percy Harvin (hamstring) and RB Adrian Peterson (ankle).
DT Fred Evans (knee), DT Letroy Guion (ribs), LB Erin Henderson (elbow), P Chris Kluwe (knee) and QB Christian Ponder (knee) were full participants.
WR Michael Jenkins is back from the personal issue that kept him away Monday.
For the Seahawks, WR Braylon Edwards (knee) and DE Jason Jones (ankle) didn't participate in Wednesday's practice. WR Doug Baldwin (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring) and G John Moffitt (knee) were limited. RB Marshawn Lynch (back) was a full participant.
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.