Bernard Berrian a surprise inactive; Antoine Winfield also out
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Bernard Berrian was a surprise inactive for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Metrodome.
Cornerback Antoine Winfield also was inactive, but that doesn't come as a surprise given that he did not practice last week because of a neck injury. Chris Kluwe, who was bothered by a hamstring injury and missed two days of practice last week, will handle the punting duties for the 0-4 Vikings.
Berrian was not listed on the injury report during the week and although he has only two receptions this season, the move almost certainly comes as punishment for Berrian's exchange on Twitter last Sunday with Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove.
Berrian and Kriesel got into it on Twitter after the Vikings' 22-17 loss at Kansas City and the wide receiver wrote that Kriesel should "sit down n shut up."
What Berrian did not know is that Kriesel is the co-author of the Vikings stadium bill and a war veteran who lost his legs while serving in Iraq. Berrian said last Monday that he had left a voicemail for Kriesel and planned to apologize to him. Kriesel also took responsibility for the exchange and that was believed to be the end of it.
Clearly, however, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and other members of the organization did not feel the situation was resolved.
Berrian also tweted after the Chiefs game that it has "been like that the last 4 yrs," after a fan defended him by writing that he saw the wide receiver "wide open at least 5 times" last Sunday.
"I'm not saying anything about (being ignored by quarterbacks), but I made a comment about being open. I've been open for the last four years," Berrian said in attempting to explain himself to reporters last week. "Nothing to deny that. I said (to Kriesel) we can go watch the film if you want to watch the film with me. That's the proof right there."
Frazier clearly was not pleased and made that clear on Monday.
"I have talked to Bernard and we do ... matter of fact Bob (Hagan, the Vikings director of public relations) and some of our PR people actually talk with our team once we come to training camp," Frazier said. "Just about social media and what our relationship should be with social media.
"It's something we've talked about, something we'll continue to deal with and talk about. Bernard kind of knows where we stand on that issue and we'll move on from there. ... We want to make sure that our focus is on football and trying to win football games. I think going forward he'll handle things the right way."
Last week marked the second time in as many seasons that Berrian has gotten into it with fans on Twitter. Sunday's exchange came after he caught one pass and was targeted six times by Donovan McNabb.
It was after Berrian tweeted about his issues with not being thrown the ball that Kriesel got involved. "If you want to follow a hiliarous twitter account, try @B_Twice who says that he's open a lot and should get the ball more," Kriesel wrote.
Berrian didn't take long to respond. "Anytime u wanna watch the film with me. Not just one game but all of them. ... and if not sit down n shut up!!"
He was quickly called on the fact that Kriesel lost his legs while serving his country.
Berrian did not back off. "Shouldn't have opened his mouth," Berrian responded on Twitter. "Especially bout something he knows nothing about. How classy is that of him?? ... and for future reference both my parents and my older bro served in the military."
Berrian said Monday, "that's on him," when asked if he was going to sit down and watch film with Kriesel. "If he can get down here and watch it, I'll be glad to definitely watch it and point it out," Berrian said.
Berrian also attempted to defend himself on Twitter last season after the Vikings lost in Chicago.
Berrian was active for the November game at Solider Field because he had told then coach Brad Childress he could play. But Berrian decided at the last minute he could not go because of a hamstring issue that had been bothering him.
Fans lashed out at Berrian on Twitter and he responded.
Berrian took a pay cut from $3.9 million to $1.9 million to remain with the Vikings this season and his multi-year contract was shortened to a one-year deal.
Berrian's reception total dropped to 28 last season and he did not catch a touchdown pass for the first time since 2005 when he was with the Chicago Bears. Berrian signed a $42 million, six-year contract as a free agent with the Vikings in 2008 that included a $16 million signing bonus and $23 million in the first three years.
Cook to start
With Cook starting, that means Asher Allen likely will play inside in the nickel defense, giving the Cardinals a definite advantage in the passing game.
Wells active for Cardinals
Running back Beanie Wells will be active for the Cardinals after being listed as questionable on the injury report because of a hamstring issue.
Wells was limited in practice last week but had a big game for the Cardinals in their 31-27 loss to the New York Giants last Sunday, rushing for 138 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries.
The Cardinals inactives include punter Dave Zastudil (right knee); wide receivers Chansi Stuckey (hamstring) and Stephen Williams; quarterback John Skelton; tight ends Jim Dray (pectoral) and Todd Heap (hamstring); and defensive end Ronald Talley.
Ben Graham, who was re-signed by the Cardinals, will replace Zastudil as the punter. Jeff King will start for Heap at tight end.