Vikings likely to be without Herrera this week

Updated: October 26, 2011, 7:07 PM ET
Associated Press

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield will be a full participant in practice Thursday, hoping to test his injured neck and see if he can play in Sunday's game at Carolina.

Winfield wouldn't specify details about his injury after participating on a limited basis Wednesday, but said it's "more than a strain" and that the decision on whether to play is all his. Winfield has missed the past three games because of the problem.

"The test will be (Thursday)," Winfield said. "I'll put on the pads, do a little more hitting, see how I feel after that."

Guard Anthony Herrera has damaged his surgically repaired left knee and is unlikely to play against the Panthers. Coach Leslie Frazier said Herrera will probably be listed as doubtful on the injury report after damaging the lateral collateral ligament in the knee. Herrera was not on the field for Wednesday's practice.

Center John Sullivan has been cleared to return from his concussion after missing the last game against Green Bay. The same goes for safety Jamarca Sanford.

Receiver Percy Harvin didn't participate Wednesday, but will put pads on Thursday to gauge how his bruised ribs handle contact. Frazier said Harvin is feeling better and expects him to play this weekend.

Running back Adrian Peterson and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe also sat out Wednesday's practice. Peterson hurt his ankle in Sunday's game, but said the injury wasn't serious, and Shiancoe was listed with a foot problem.

Winfield hasn't played since he was injured in the second quarter while tackling Chiefs running back Dexter McCluster on Oct. 2. With Cedric Griffin coming off two major knee surgeries in two years and Chris Cook suspended after being charged with felony domestic assault, the Vikings (1-6) could sorely use Winfield on the field against the Panthers.

Winfield said an MRI came back clean this week, but he and the team are being cautious because of the potentially serious nature of neck injuries.

"I don't want to rush myself, get in there and really do some damage," said Winfield, one of the most physical cornerbacks in the league. "My style of play, I love contact, I love to hit, so the neck is very important to me. If it was my shoulder or maybe my foot I'd be out there playing. But, the neck, you want to take it a little slower."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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