Antoine Winfield doubtful for Sunday; Percy Harvin 'should be ready'
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Antoine Winfield wasn't participating during the portion of practice open to reporters on Friday, leaving the Minnesota Vikings' veteran cornerback a long shot to play on Sunday night at Chicago.
Winfield, who has been dealing with a stiff neck since making a tackle on Oct. 2 at Kansas City, ran sprints on the side as head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman watched and teammates went through group drills on Friday. He didn't do anything during team drills either and was listed as doubtful on the injury report.
"Nah, he just worked out on the side on his own," coach Leslie Frazier said, "and that's about the gist of where he is at this point."
Although tests revealed no structural damage, Winfield still hasn't practiced since suffering the injury and has complained to team doctors of ongoing stiffness. He won't come back until he's "to the point where when he turns his head left and right and up and down and he doesn't have any discomfort," Frazier said. "When he feels comfortable that I can do what I have to do to play."
Barring a jump in Winfield's recovery by Sunday night, Chris Cook likely will get his second consecutive start at left cornerback and Asher Allen once again will man the slot in the nickel defense. Both played well in last week's win over Arizona.
"That was extremely encouraging watching the both of those guys compete the way they did," Frazier said. "So, we feel like we should be in pretty good shape. With Antoine, you miss something from a tackling standpoint and leadership and all the intangibles he brings. But both Asher and Chris -- they're showing that they're really coming along, which is great for our team."
Meanwhile, receiver Percy Harvin returned to practice one day after leaving the team's facility for an X-ray on his sore ribs. That test also revealed no damage, Frazier said, and Harvin is expected to start against the Bears.
"We're going to list him as a questionable, but I think he should be ready," Frazier said. "He did limited work (Friday), but we're optimistic he'll be ready to go on Sunday."
It is expected Harvin will wear some sort of protective vest or wrap to avoid further injury on Sunday.
"I know our trainers talked with him (Friday) about some things they're going to try and they want him to wear," Frazier said. "So, we'll figure it out and see what fits him best and what he's most comfortable with."