Vikings lose Griffin for season with 'significant' knee injury

The Minnesota Vikings were impressed by the way Cedric Griffin came back swiftly and strongly eight months after major knee surgery.

Now he'll have to start the arduous rehabilitation process all over again -- on the other leg.

The Vikings have lost their starting cornerback for the rest of the season to another significant knee injury, coach Brad Childress confirmed Tuesday. Griffin hurt his right knee early in the fourth quarter Monday night against the New York Jets, and he won't return in 2010.

Griffin tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last January in the NFC Championship Game and worked his way back to lineup for Week 3, but now his season is over after just two games.

The *Minneapolis Star Tribune* reported that an MRI exam on the knee revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Childress stopped short of confirming that Griffin tore the ACL, but said "it's probably headed that way." The coach said he didn't have a timetable for surgery.

"He's a good football player," Childress said. "He'll be sorely missed here."

Griffin's teammates consoled him in the locker room after the 29-20 loss to the Jets.

"I think he's in a little bit of fog," Childress said, adding: "It's probably kind of a, 'Why me?' thing right now."

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The Vikings also played the Jets without rookie cornerback Chris Cook, who is recovering from a torn meniscus in his left knee. Cook tore the meniscus in his right knee and missed the first two games, like Griffin. Reliable veteran Antoine Winfield is still entrenched as the other starter, but the Jets picked on backups Asher Allen and Lito Sheppard at times in Monday's game. Even when Cook returns, the Vikings could use some more depth.

"We're looking at a whole bunch of roster moves right now," Childress said. "We've got some spots we've got to address."

Childress said Cook is in better shape than a week ago.

"There's a chance he makes it to this weekend," the coach said, adding: "He needs to push with the idea that he's going to make it to the weekend, and then he and we will decide whether he makes it to the weekend."

The Vikings (1-3) will host the Dallas Cowboys (1-3) on Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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