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Winfield Proves How Valuable He is When Injury Forces Him to Sit

When Winfield left because of his foot injury and was replaced by Paymah, the Ravens had a field day throwing his way, most notably on Mark Clayton’s 32-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.

Flacco passed for 252 of his 385 yards in the second half, with Winfield on the sideline.
Vikings veteran cornerback Karl Paymah insisted he was ready to play, likening his readiness to a chain link fence.

“If it’s missing,” he said of a link, “you got to fill that void right away.”

More like a paper fence if you ask this columnist. I mean, we all knew Winfield was a key part of the defense, but the drop-off was ridiculous. With the trading deadline just a few days away, one must wonder if the Vikings brain trust is wondering the same things I am. Is the lack of depth at CB a potentially fatal flaw in this otherwise Championship caliber team ?

My point is supported by the second half collapse which actually started on the last series of the first half. On the second play of that next series, Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco completed a 27-yard pass to Derrick Mason, who appeared to bump Paymah as the ball was arriving. Then, on the next series, Paymah was beaten by Mason for a 23-yarder that set up a 29-yard field goal just before halftime.

In the fourth quarter, receiver Mark Clayton adjusted to a slightly underthrown ball, for a 32-yard touchdown, even though Paymah was in solid position on the play, but somehow turned his back on the receiver at the last second as Clayton easily out jumped him for the TD.

“We tried to take advantage of it as much as possible,” Flacco said of the injuries to Winfield and nickel cornerback Benny Sapp.

Although Winfield was limping in the locker room, team officials are optimistic he could play next Sunday against Pittsburgh. He is scheduled to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging exam today.

Paymah is in his fourth NFL season, and he has started five games in his career. But he’s still adjusting to a different defensive scheme from the one he was used to in Denver, where he backed up perennial all-pro Champ Bailey.

“You got to be ready,” said Paymah, who was signed in the offseason to a one-year contract. “If they’re going to come at me, then come at me. It’s going to give me opportunities to make plays.”

Paymah’s one positive play occurred on a third-and-4, from the Vikings’ 45. Flacco drilled a short pass to Mason, but Paymah was able to wrest it away at the last second. The Ravens then punted.

To his credit, Paymah didn’t make excuses, even though he appeared to be pushed by Mason on the initial catch for 27 yards.

“I expect them to shove,” he said. “I mean, a couple of years ago, I started complaining. But it’s an offensive game. They’re not going to call that. You have to keep playing.”
And so Paymah did, which impressed his teammates.

“He stood up when he had to,” safety Madieu Williams said. “He has a lot of character. He’s a tough-minded guy.

The feeling here is tough minded or not, Paymah is neither fast enough or physical enough to adequately replace a Winfield….. Or even Benny Sapp for that matter !

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4 Responses to “Winfield Proves How Valuable He is When Injury Forces Him to Sit”

  1. […] the original post here: Winfield Proves How Valuable He is When Injury Forces Him to Sit Tagged with: foot    free […]

  2. Lost Viking says:

    Winfield has been diagnosed with a sprained foot. He’s walking with a boot. There is no timeline for his return but he’s not ruled OUT for next week. Good news

    Adding a CB at this stage on a 6 and 0 team would seem a little excessive. Winfield should be back. Drafting Asher looks like a good decision. We should take a good look at 4th quarter breakdown and expect improved play from secondary going forward.

  3. Bismuth says:

    A couple million to keep Darrin Sharper doesn’t look so bad now, huh?

    I know, gross simplification of what was a complicated situation, but with the pass defense looking to be by far the weakest link, you start to wonder what if…

  4. bigjohnny84 says:

    Paymah doesnt seem to be able to get turned around and play the ball. I remember in preseason Mike Mayock was talking about how he was just a bump and run corner and had trouble playing the ball.

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