Notebook: Still no talks with Wilfs about future, Leslie Frazier says
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Leslie Frazier received congratulatory phone calls from Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and team president Mark Wilf after Tuesday's surprise win at Philadelphia.
But the topic of Frazier's future beyond Sunday's season finale at Detroit apparently still hasn't come up.
"I'm sure we'll talk here pretty soon," said Frazier, who talks to the Wilfs after every game. "We're wrapping the season up now. Hopefully, real soon."
Frazier is 3-2 since replacing Brad Childress on an interim basis Nov. 22, when the Vikings were 3-7. The Vikings won their next two games against mediocre foes Washington and Buffalo, then were trounced by the New York Giants and Chicago Bears in two relocated games following the Metrodome's roof collapse.
Tuesday's win was by far Frazier's most impressive, considering it was against a playoff-bound team, on the road and on the heels of a two-day snow delay that marooned the Vikings in a downtown Philadelphia hotel.
The Wilfs did not attend the game -- a rarity -- but they "were really pleased with the way our players played and the effort that they gave, and they were very complementary," Frazier said.
Once the Vikings' season ends, Frazier can become a candidate for any head-coaching job in the NFL. Players roundly have supported keeping him in Minnesota.
"Of course," veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield said after Tuesday's game. "He gets my vote. He's a former player, so he understands the game and how to talk to people. He's a player's coach. Real humble, great motivator. He definitely gets my vote."
Support for Favre
Quarterback Brett Favre sat out Tuesday's game with a concussion and never attempted to retake the initial neurological examination in Philadelphia, Frazier said, because the team decided there wasn't "enough time to get done what we needed to get done. Didn't feel comfortable to put him out there, so just stayed away from it."
However, Frazier once again made clear Favre would start on Sunday if he's cleared medically, despite rookie Joe Webb's surprisingly strong performance on Tuesday.
"It's really not a hard decision for me," Frazier said. "Brett is a terrific player. We feel very comfortable when he's on the field that we have a great chance to win so you always want to put the guy out there who is going to give you the best chance to win.
"If Brett is healthy I think our entire team feels very confident that we have a great chance to win when he's the starting quarterback. And nothing against Joe -- Joe's going to be a terrific player in our league -- but if Brett is able to go, he'd be our starting quarterback."
Favre also missed a game on Dec. 13 with a pain and numbness in his throwing arm. Frazier said his understanding is that injury is "fine, there are no inhibitions in that regard. No concerns. At least they haven't been voiced to me that that was a concern regarding his shoulder or his neck. Right now, (Favre's status is) all based on the concussion."
The status of several other players for Sunday appears questionable at best following injuries in Tuesday's game. Receiver Sidney Rice and backup linebacker Erin Henderson suffered concussions, while cornerback Asher Allen injured suffered an abdominal injury.
The statuses of Rice and Henderson in particular would be in doubt even if the Vikings weren't operating with only four days between games instead of six. Both -- along with Allen, Favre, fullback Naufahu Tahi (ankle) and safety Madieu Williams, who missed Tuesday's game with his own concussion -- were estimated as nonparticipants on Wednesday's no-practice injury report.
"We definitely are facing a short week," Frazier said.
Halfback Adrian Peterson ran for 118 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries (5.4 average) despite taking a direct hit on his sore on the first play from scrimmage.
"We'll have to keep an eye on (Peterson) during the course of the week, because you're right, the very first contact he got was right in that spot, so we'll have to see how he goes," Frazier said. "But he played well. He played terrific even with that injury, so we'll see what happens the rest of this week."
Peterson was listed as limited on the injury report along with backup safety Tyrell Johnson, who hasn't practiced since suffering a medial collateral ligament injury on Dec. 5 against Buffalo.
Tahi was injured on Tuesday but returned and is expected to play this week.
Winfield's big night in Philadelphia earned him NFC defensive player of the week honors.
Winfield made the game's pivotal play, stripping Michael Vick on a blitz just before halftime, scooping up the ball and racing 45 yards for a tying touchdown. He finished with nine tackles (eight solo) and added a second sack.
It's the third such honor for Winfield, who also was NFC defensive player of the week for his performance in a wild-card playoff game on Jan. 9, 2005, at Green Bay and against New Orleans on Oct. 6, 2008.
• Frazier said he wasn't involved in informing Favre about the resolution the NFL announced in its long-running investigation of the 41-year-old quarterback. "It's a league matter and really nothing I can speak to," Frazier said. "The league is handling whatever needs to be handled. Our organization is extremely supportive of the league office, and things are where they are."
• The plan is to practice on Thursday and then hold a significantly shortened workout on Friday to keep players fresh for Sunday, Frazier said.
• The Lions did practice on Wednesday. CB Tye Hill (illness), CB Chris Houston (shoulder), WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) and LB Landon Johnson (concussion) were nonparticipants, while RB Jahvid Best (toe), DE Lawrence Jackson (groin) and QB Drew Stanton (left shoulder) were limited.