EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings should have their top two cornerbacks Sunday when they travel to St. Louis for another critical game.
Third-year cornerback A.J. Jefferson, who has started the past five games since Chris Cook was put on injured reserve, returned to practice Thursday after being cleared following a concussion he sustained in Sunday’s 21-14 win against the Chicago Bears.
“That’s encouraging news,” coach Leslie Frazier said. “Once they go through that protocol with the league and once their cleared, you’re happy from my standpoint.”
Cornerback Antoine Winfield sat out his second straight day of practice, but Frazier said it was precautionary with his knee “a little sore” as the team looks to keep the 14-year veteran healthy at the end of a long season. Running back Adrian Peterson was also held out Thursday with an abdominal injury, but Frazier said he expects the league-leading rusher to be ready for Sunday’s game and that Minnesota was just giving its workhorse back more time to rest the injury.
“Yeah, his abdomen was a little sore, so we held him out today,” Frazier said. “He probably could have done some things today, but wiser just to hold him out.”
It was the first time this season he’s showed up on the injury report with the abdominal injury. Peterson had been a regular on the report earlier this season with an ankle injury, but he’s played all 13 games and leads the NFL with 1,600 rushing yards.
Frazier said receiver Jerome Simpson, who has just 15 catches for 176 yards this season, could still be limited by the leg and back injuries that plagued him earlier this season. He was ineffective because of the injury in his second game back this season and missed the following week but has played the past seven weeks and hasn’t topped three catches or 37 yards in a game since the injury.
“I think it does still have an effect, yeah,” Frazier said. “He’s still not quite where he was before that injury.”