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Updated: October 21st, 2011 11:55am
Antoine Winfield, John Sullivan, Jamarca Sanford doubtful for Sunday

Antoine Winfield, John Sullivan, Jamarca Sanford doubtful for Sunday

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan and safety Jamarca Sanford sat out practice again on Friday, and cornerback Antoine Winfield didn't do much either.

All three starters were listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against Green Bay.

Sullivan and Sanford each suffered a concussion in the second half of last weekend's loss at Chicago. The Vikings generally have held players out for a game after concussions over the past year-plus, and coach Leslie Frazier said neither player has passed all the tests necessary to meet the NFL's guidelines for players to return to the field.

So, barring rapid recovery over the next 48 hours, the smart money is on Joe Berger starting at center and Tyrell Johnson at safety on Sunday, with rookies Brandon Fusco and Mistral Raymond active for the first time as bench players.

"Those guys have made progress, both John and Jamarca, but not to the point where we could say that they'd be ready to play yet," Frazier said. "(Athletic trainers are) going to do some more things with them (Saturday). There's a possibility, so we're going to list them as doubtful. But it's just a possibility."

Winfield returned to practice on Wednesday after sitting out for two weeks with a stiff neck. But he's been limited the past two days and it's unclear what role, if any, he'll deem himself ready to fill against the Packers.

"He moved around a little bit" on Friday, Frazier said. "We'll see how he feels (Saturday), but I'd say he's doubtful for the game on Sunday."

Assuming Winfield can't go, Chris Cook presumably would get his third consecutive start at left cornerback and Asher Allen would be the third cornerback covering the slot in the nickel defense.

Asked if there's a possibility Winfield will have to be shut down for an extended period, Frazier said, "I think it's more week to week at this point. He's made a lot of progress, to the point where he's very close to getting on the field. So, I think he's still kind of day to day right now."

Right tackle Phil Loadholt (knee) and receiver Percy Harvin (rib) practiced for a second straight day and were listed as probable, along with middle linebacker E.J. Henderson (knee), linebacker Kenny Onatolu (hamstring) and left guard Steve Hutchinson (knee).

Henderson continues to deal with knee trouble, Frazier confirmed, and brother Erin Henderson is expected to return to the nickel defense.

For Green Bay, defensive tackle Ryan Pickett was added to the injury list with a concussion and was listed as questionable for Sunday's game, but coach Mike McCarthy said he's expected to play.

Left tackle Chad Clifton (knee/hamstring), end Mike Neal (knee), linebacker Frank Zombo (knee) and linebacker Jamari Lattimore (shoulder) are out. Cornerback Sam Shields (concussion) is doubtful.

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