Antoine Winfield would like some help at cornerback

If they let Antoine Winfield into the personnel room in Minnesota, he knows what he would do.

Go out and sign a cornerback.

The veteran is one of only three healthy cornerbacks the Vikings have as they prepare for the season opener on Thursday in New Orleans, a roll of the dice by any calculation.

"It would be nice," Winfield told Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN in the Twin Cities. “But that's not up to me. The coaches make the decisions.”

Lito Sheppard figures to start opposite Winfield against the Super Bowl champions and Asher Allen is healthy and ready to go. The Vikings have not yet ruled out Cedric Griffin, but he suffered a torn ACL playing against the Saints in the NFC title game last January. Rookie second-round draft pick Chris Cook, who had a strong camp and preseason, has a minor knee injury that could sideline him two weeks. Griffin practiced on Monday while Cook was held out.

“Whoever's dressed, they're going to play hard and give us the effort that they always give us," defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. “But we'll definitely need it on Thursday night.”

It’s a little late to add emergency help for this game. Surely, the Vikings have scanned the free agents that became available after leaguewide cuts on Saturday. Maybe they have more faith in Griffin than they are letting on.

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