Antoine Winfield aggravates hand injury, status for next game uncertain
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Antoine Winfield insisted all week he could play through a broken right hand. He lasted less than a half.
The veteran cornerback dropped out of the Minnesota Vikings' 37-34 victory over Green Bay in the second quarter Sunday and stood on the sideline in a baseball cap during the second half.
Winfield broke the hand in last week's win at Houston. But the Vikings felt they could pad the hand and allow him to play. Now there is the question of whether Winfield will be available for next Saturday night's first-round playoff game between the Vikings and Packers at Lambeau Field.
Winfield said he didn't feel he did much additional damage but his right hand was noticeably swollen after the game.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier did not know immediately after the game whether the Vikings' rematch with the Packers would be Saturday or Sunday. That information came later in the evening, but clearly, for Winfield, not having an additional day off isn't a good thing.
"Probably depending on whether we play on a Saturday or Sunday will have an impact on his availability but we'll see," Frazier said. "It will be day-to-day."
Winfield said the pain simply became too much for him to handle Sunday. "Just trying to put my hands (on a player), or hit a tight end, I wasn't effective at all," he said.
Winfield's departure left A.J. Jefferson to play opposite Chris Cook in the base defense and Marcus Sherels to play in the nickel. Jefferson dropped out briefly in the first half with a right ankle injury and was replaced by Josh Robinson.
The Vikings also lost rookie free safety Harrison Smith late in the game because of an injury to his right shoulder. Smith called it a "stinger" and did not seem concerned that the injury will keep him out.