Ponder, Winfield questionable but likely to play

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Quarterback Christian Ponder and cornerback Antoine Winfield, two important pieces for the Minnesota Vikings, are listed as questionable for Saturday night’s first-round playoff game at Green Bay.

Ponder has been limited all week with a bruised elbow suffered last week in the final regular-season game against the Packers. Winfield, who broke a small bone in his left hand two weeks ago, returned to practice in a limited capacity on Friday. Both are expected to play. The questionable tag is reserved for players who have a 50 percent or better chance of playing.

Minnesota had a walkthrough practice Friday. Linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, a key member of the special teams coverage units, is listed out for Saturday’s game with a shoulder injury suffered last week. Running back Adrian Peterson (abdomen), defensive end Jared Allen (shoulder), defensive end Brian Robison (shoulder), safety Harrison Smith (knee), tackle Phil Loadholt (knee), punter Chris Kluwe (left knee), cornerback A.J. Jefferson (ankle) and defensive end George Johnson (quadriceps) are listed as probable and were full participants in Friday’s practice.

Coach Leslie Frazier said Ponder’s elbow is a “little bit tight,” and the team was resting him throughout the week to allow time to “let that elbow calm down a little bit.”

“I think he’ll be alright,” Frazier said after Thursday’s practice. “I think he’ll do everything he can to make sure he’s ready to go. He’s done a lot more stuff mental than physical right now, but he should be fine.”

Winfield tried to play through the broken hand last week, wearing a small pad under his glove. But he had to leave the game in the second quarter after aggravating the injury. He will play with a hard cast on Saturday that will cover the break but leave his fingers exposed.

“I have the offseason to heal up,” Winfield said Thursday. “I’m definitely going to be out there on Saturday night.”

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