Tyrell Johnson gets starting nod; Sullivan, Chris Cook active as expected
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Minnesota Vikings safety Tyrell Johnson is a starter again. At least for one night.
As expected, Johnson got the nod on Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers in place of Husain Abdullah, who had been ruled out on Friday because of the concussion he sustained last weekend.
A second-round draft pick in 2008, Johnson started 22 games over his first two NFL seasons before losing the job in the preseason to Abdullah. Jamarca Sanford finished last week's win over Dallas because Johnson was inactive for a third consecutive game, but Johnson is the superior pass defender and thus a natural choice to start against Green Bay.
"They don't mind throwing the ball deep and giving you opportunities to go the other way with it," Johnson said on Friday. "I couldn't ask for a better game to come back at."
As expected, center John Sullivan (calf) returned to the starting lineup and cornerback Chris Cook (knee) suited up for the first time since suffering their respective injuries on Sept. 26. Cook was expected to play in the nickel defense.
Inactive for the Vikings were: No. 3 quarterback Joe Webb, receiver Hank Baskett, cornerback Lito Sheppard, running back Albert Young, Abdullah, linebacker Erin Henderson, guard Chris DeGeare and defensive tackle Fred Evans.
Sheppard (hand) and DeGeare (ankle) were listed as questionable. Rookie fourth-round pick Everson Griffen is active for the first time in his NFL career.
Two starters the Packers had listed as questionable, linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring) and end Ryan Pickett (ankle), are active. Mark Tauscher (shoulder) is inactive, giving rookie Bryan Bulaga his third consecutive start at right tackle.
Also inactive for the Packers: fullback Quinn Johnson, linebacker Brady Poppinga, linebacker Maurice Simpkins, Tauscher, guard Marshall Newhouse, guard Nick McDonald, end Mike Neal and end Michael Montgomery.
Rain that had continued since Saturday afternoon let up on Sunday, and the sun poked out over Lambeau Field around 5 p.m. Forecasts that initially called for thunderstorms during the game and had changed to predict only a 10% to 15% chance of rain.