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Vikings want Antoine Winfield to play less in 2013

Packers' DuJuan Harris is brought down Vikings' Antoine Winfield during their NFL NFC wildcard playoff football game in Green Bay Reuters

Cornerback Antoine Winfield made a strong rebound from injury during the 2012 season, helping the Vikings to a playoff berth that few people were predicting before the year got underway.

The Vikings would like to respond to that comeback performance by slashing Winfield’s playing time. Winfield played just under 90 percent of the snaps for the Vikings last season, a number that might have been even higher if not for a broken hand suffered near the end of the season. Coach Leslie Frazier said that the goal is for Winfield to move out of the starting lineup and into a fill-time gig as the team’s slot corner in the nickel.

“It’s not good for him. I don’t think it’s the best thing for our team,” Frazier said, via Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. “We need him to be able to stay healthy, help us in the classroom, help us on the field. So, we definitely want him back, but we do need to reduce his snaps.”

The Vikings had the same plan last season, but Josh Robinson was slow transitioning to the NFL and Chris Cook broke his arm. That left Winfield back in his old role, which he played without much practice time because the team was trying everything they could to keep him healthy enough to play on Sundays.

Minnesota would like to avoid that this season, although it’s likely some comfort that they know Winfield can handle it if things don’t wind up going as planned.

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17 Responses to “Vikings want Antoine Winfield to play less in 2013”
  1. filthymcnasty1 says: Feb 26, 2013 9:47 AM

    He’ll have plenty of time to rest in the playoffs.

  2. whatjusthapped says: Feb 26, 2013 10:06 AM

    Ya, take your best DB and reduce his snaps. This only makes sense in Vikingland.

  3. Ponder This says: Feb 26, 2013 10:15 AM

    Josh Robinson showed signs of being a solid starter last year. Chris Cook is still looking for his first career interception.

  4. jcmeyer10 says: Feb 26, 2013 10:30 AM

    It’s not like he has a lot of years left. Love the guy but they are smart to start the transition process while they still can lean on him in a pinch.

  5. fwippel says: Feb 26, 2013 11:33 AM

    Then they’d better find another top-flight CB this off-season. Not saying that Josh Robinson can’t fill the bill, but it’s still too early to tell with him.

    Winfield is a stud; replacing him is going to take more than just a mid-round draft pick or a journey-man free agent.

  6. ponder7vikings says: Feb 26, 2013 12:14 PM

    Josh Robinson can be a shut down corner.

    Harrison Smith is the Next Ed Reed as Saftey..

    i think we will be good next year.

  7. landof10000lakes says: Feb 26, 2013 12:41 PM

    Let’s sign Woodson. Woodson and Winfield, that would be awesome!!!

  8. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Feb 26, 2013 1:44 PM

    @10000lakes

    Like Woodson would want to play for the vikes. He either signs with a contender or will retire. Seriously, you guys are worse than ambulance chasers with how you go after ex-Packers!

  9. purplehaze12 says: Feb 26, 2013 4:00 PM

    Winfield is awesome! Gotta love the Guy!

  10. whatjusthapped says: Feb 26, 2013 4:09 PM

    Woodson has already said he would never play for the Vikings. Well, he actually said he would only play for a contender so its basically saying the same thing.

  11. purplepunisher says: Feb 26, 2013 5:16 PM

    You Packer fans are something else. All year last year you talk your foolish smack all the way up tp the Vikings Packers game and then you got pounded in the dome!

    The truth is, if Woodson wants to be on a contender he is much better off on the Vikings then that fast sinking ship of the Packers!

  12. whatjusthapped says: Feb 26, 2013 6:33 PM

    @purplepunisher

    Ya, pounded in the dome. what is the Viking Packer record for the last three years?

    1 win for the Vikings vs 5 losses and that one win came in a late drive when the Packers were already in the playoffs. Congratulations, you just moved your draft pick down 6 slots and then proceeded to lose in the playoffs, a Viking tradition if there ever was one.

  13. filthymcnasty1 says: Feb 26, 2013 6:33 PM

    The Packers ended the Viking season, and for the 3rd season in a row beat them twice. The Packers are clearly better. Always have been. Always will be.

  14. lnfinite says: Feb 26, 2013 7:10 PM

    Some Packer fans ought to do better research. The head to head matchup is relatively close GB leading 55-49-1. Playoff record is tied 1-1. Sure go ahead and talk about super bowl wins but realize the divisional title race favors the Vikes 18-12 and overtime head to head results favor the Vikes 4-1-1. One other note concerning dominance, head to head longest win streak also belongs to the Vikings with 7 straight wins and count one more if one overlooks a tie.

    Again, do little better research before bragging….

  15. tokyosandblaster says: Feb 26, 2013 7:54 PM

    That may be true, but the Packers will get to 20 division titles before the Vikings.

  16. shinypennyinc says: Feb 27, 2013 12:53 PM

    Packers went from 1972 to 1995 without winning the division. The Vikings have never disappeared for 2 decades and been an assured win like the packers were for 23 years

  17. rickytheviking says: Feb 27, 2013 1:19 PM

    filthymcnasty1 says:
    Feb 26, 2013 6:33 PM
    The Packers ended the Viking season, and for the 3rd season in a row beat them twice. The Packers are clearly better. Always have been. Always will be.

    The Vikings didn’t have their starting QB or
    best receiver playing in that game

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