Minnesota Vikings: Player Watch – Friday 23 Dec 11

DT Kevin Williams was limited again in practice because of a knee injury. He’s expected to play, but there’s no question this season has taken its toll on Williams physically and mentally. The team might try to reduce his reps on Saturday.

CB Asher Allen (concussion) has not practiced this week and still hasn’t cleared his league-mandated concussion exam. With a short week, he’s unlikely to play on Saturday. The Vikings, however, are so depleted in the secondary that they’ll try to get Allen cleared on Friday.

RG Anthony Herrera, who missed four games because of a knee injury earlier in the season, was limited again in practice on Thursday. He’s expected to play. Nobody on the team works harder to come back from injuries and get back into the lineup. He’s far from a dominant player, but he does bring an aggressive mentality to the offensive line.

CB Cedric Griffin has sat down and talked with head coach Leslie Frazier about his role on the team. Frazier is concerned about Griffin’s confidence and willingness to play the techniques the coaching staff is asking him to play. Griffin struggled all season to return to form from tearing the ACL in both knees the past two seasons. He was benched two weeks ago when he played off the line of scrimmage when the coaches had called for the cornerbacks to jam receivers at the line. The Lions’ Titus Young ran past Griffin undeterred and pulled in an easy 57-yard touchdown pass. Last week, Griffin was active but didn’t play, even after Asher Allen went down early because of a concussion. Frazier hopes that Griffin will be able to help the team in some capacity at Washington, especially since it appears Allen won’t be playing.

LG Steve Hutchinson also hasn’t practiced this week because of a concussion. He too hasn’t passed his league-mandated test. The Vikings are less likely to push the 34-year-old Hutchinson to play. Look for utility interior lineman Joe Berger to get his sixth start at his third different position this season. Berger started one game at center and four games at right guard.