As the Vikings prepare to return to work following their bye week, all eyes are going to be on Antoine Winfield
, who missed the games against Pittsburgh and Green Bay heading into the bye amid a report that his foot injury was a fracture. Winfield has publicly denied that there is a break in the foot, but there are some who doubt whether he is being completely forthcoming about the injury.
Winfield stayed in the Twin Cities during the bye week and is pressing to get back on the field ASAP, but given that the Vikings are playing 1-7 Detroit at home this week, it is likely that Winfield will have to be at or near 100 percent to make it back to the field this week. The last thing the Vikings want is for Winfield to miss time later in the season by rushing his way back to the field.
At his Monday press conference, head coach Brad Childress said that it is natural for players to push to get back on the field as soon as possible because of their competitive nature.
"Those guys' bodies talk to them," Childress said. "He's like most of our guys. They're not trying to malinger or anything like that. They are trying to get themselves back out there and get in the mix. (Winfield) is no different. He's pushed it as hard as he possibly can under doctors' orders. The next part is getting out here and moving on this hard surface."
We should know more Wednesday when the Vikings start their first full practice coming out of the bye as to whether his bye week work has pushed his return to action forward or not.
Last week, approximately 4,000 tickets remained for the Vikings-Lions game on Sunday. As of late Monday, the number had dropped to about 1,800. There are still about 1,300 tickets remaining for the Seattle game the following week.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz is trying to downplay what some have reported as being a feud between quarterback Matthew Stafford and star receiver Calvin Johnson. During Sunday's game with Seattle, sideline cameras caught Johnson and Stafford in a heated exchange, but Schwartz said that was simply part of the heat of battle and shouldn't be confused with a rift between the players.
In a bittersweet epilogue to the story that allowed former Viking Earsell Mackbee to fly to his home in California to live out his final days surrounded by family, Mackbee died Monday just 10 days after making his return. Mackbee needed approximately $25,000 raised in order to make the trip. Thanks to donations, Mackbee returned home and spent his last days surrounded by family.
Look for there to be a flurry of activity today when former Chiefs running back Larry Johnson clears waivers from Kansas City. His name has been linked to a handful of teams, including the Steelers, Patriots and Texans. Because of their depth at running back, the Vikings aren't expected to have much if any interest in signing Johnson.
Antoine Winfield has missed the last 2½ games the Vikings played with a foot injury, but he at least made it out to the practice field on Monday, according to head coach Brad Childress.
Vikings CB Antoine Winfield is making progress by getting back on the practice field.