Antoine Winfield proclaims himself 100 percent healthy

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Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield turns 35 on Sunday and is coming off a season in which injuries limited him to just five games. But he doesn’t think he’s close to being done.

Winfield, who missed Weeks 5-8 of 2011 with a neck injury and then broke his collarbone in his first game back after that, said he’s now completely healthy and ready to go.

I’m 100 percent,” Winfield told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I think I was cleared the end of March. The last couple of months I’m running around, getting into shape and getting ready for training camp. . . . My goal is to play 16 games.”

Some older cornerbacks move to safety, but Winfield says he doesn’t think that’s a good idea.

“I’ve played cornerback for so many years, and moving to safety is a totally different technique,” Winfield said. “I’m usually coming from the side where I have angles to make tackles. Being a safety, I’m looking at that running back eye to eye. [Facing] a 225-pound, 235-pound running back, there’d be wear and tear. I don’t think the body is ready for that.”

If Winfield, who’s now the Vikings’ oldest player, can return to anything close to his previous Pro Bowl cornerback form, no one will be asking him about a move to safety, even as he turns 35.

15 responses to “Antoine Winfield proclaims himself 100 percent healthy

  1. I really wish he would have said “My goal is to play 19 games, not including pre-season”.

  2. When healthy, Antoine Winfield is the most underrated player in the NFL. Pro bowl talent, great leadership skills, and a total class act.

  3. Winfield has has an excellent career, from back when he was drafted in 1999 at #23 in round one by Buffalo till the present as the Vikings starting cornerback at age 35. He still has another 2-3 seasons left in him if he stays in good health. I was pretty sad, and I’m sure many Bills fans were when Winfield went to Minnesota, they offered him a huge contract that the Bills couldn’t beat. IMO, he is one of the most physical corners in the league and puts fear into many of the receivers he takes on.

  4. Winfield is perfect covering the slot receiver. Cook and one of the free agents will be the outside corners. I’m glad they’re not planning a move to safety, even though the only safety we have that I can name is a rookie.

  5. If he can stay on the field and Cris Cook not smack women around the vikes will have a greatly improved secondary. Not to say they will be elite but average this year would be much better than their historically bad year last year.

  6. Best tackle corner in the league. His cover skills are pretty good too, Kevin Seifert had an article on Winfield from last year or a year ago, showing Winfield never allowed a completion of that year of over 25 yards and I believe that was only once. Problem is he won’t bring you a lot of INTs which is why he is so underrated. Got to love Winny, the only physical member of the secondary of the past few years.

  7. No corner tackles better. He actually uses the technique of wrapping a guy up and not just throwing a shoulder into somebody. You know, the technique we all learned in pee wee football.

  8. How many times have we heard that from other players?

    He may feel great now (it’s springtime!) — but one hit or bad pivot and those old aches and pains can come right back — especially at age 35!

  9. Winfield played in 5 games last year. That was a huge reason why the Vikes only won 3 games last year, combined with Cook only playing in 3. With the addition of Smith and Robinson in the draft and Carr threw FA, their secondary is now greatly improved. Combine that with our pass rush and I think we will cause more problems then people think. Still a huge work in process but greatly, greatly improved from last year.

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