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.