Vikings consider reduced role for ailing Winfield

Published 2:29 am Friday, January 1, 2010

The Minnesota Vikings don’t expect cornerback Antoine Winfield to be at full strength until the offseason.

Winfield missed six games with a foot injury, before returning with a standout performance against Cincinnati three weeks ago. The past two games were some of his worst, though. Winfield was beaten in coverage several times.

Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said Thursday that a reduced role for Winfield is being considered. A healthy backup could be better suited to more extensive action given Winfield’s health.

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The Vikings hope to have defensive tackle Pat Williams back for Sunday’s game against the Giants after missing the last one with an elbow injury. His backup Jimmy Kennedy has missed practice this week with a thumb injury.