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Updated: September 9th, 2010 6:12pm
John Sullivan active, Cedric Griffin not; Asher Allen to start at CB

John Sullivan active, Cedric Griffin not; Asher Allen to start at CB

by Tom Pelissero
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NEW ORLEANS -- John Sullivan suited up Thursday night. Cedric Griffin didn't. And Asher Allen and Husain Abdullah got starts in the secondary.

That was the upshot of the Minnesota Vikings' pregame inactives announcement before their season opener against the New Orleans Saints.

Also inactive were: cornerback Chris Cook, running back Toby Gerhart, guard Chris DeGeare, defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy, tight end Mickey Shuler and end Everson Griffen. Joe Webb was designated the No. 3 quarterback.

Allen's start was the most surprising. It had been assumed Lito Sheppard would start opposite Antoine Winfield.

Griffin's status wasn't really a surprise -- he's only 7½ months removed from blowing out his knee on this same Superdome field and has practiced only three times since being moved to the active roster on Saturday.

However, coach Brad Childress acknowledged on Tuesday he was "toying with" the idea of having Griffin active and the team officially gave him a 50-50 chance of playing by listing him as questionable on Wednesday's injury report.

Instead, the Vikings suited up only three cornerbacks, with Winfield and Allen to start and Sheppard likely to bump Allen inside in the nickel defense.

Sullivan had been listed as probable and was expected to start. He was on the field about 2 hours before kickoff working on shotgun snaps.

Cook and Kennedy were ruled out on Wednesday because of knee injuries. Gerhart also has a knee injury. The others were healthy scratches.

The Saints deactivated eight reserves: running back Chris Ivory, safety Chris Reis, linebacker Stanley Arnoux, linebacker Danny Clark, tackle Zach Strief, tight end Jimmy Graham, receiver Adrian Arrington and defensive end Junior Galette.

None of the Vikings' 2010 draft picks were on the 45-man active roster.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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