Minnesota got Pro Bowl cornerback Antoine Winfield back from a foot injury, but kick returner and receiver Percy Harvin didn't play for the Vikings against Cincinnati on Sunday because of migraines.
Winfield missed the previous six games over seven weeks with a right foot injury. His return was a boost for a defense that lost starting linebacker E.J. Henderson to a broken leg the previous week and shined in a pivotal 30-10 victory over the Bengals.
The Vikings also played without starting safety Tyrell Johnson, who is recovering a concussion, and backup cornerback and special teams player Karl Paymah due to a knee injury. Rookie Jamarca Sanford started in Johnson's place, and rookie Jasper Brinkley took over for Henderson in the heart of the defense.
The loss of Harvin on offense was huge for Minnesota, but the Vikings withstood the first-round draft pick's absence on both offense and special teams. Darius Reynaud averaged 27 yards on two kickoff returns, and the Vikings converted eight of 14 third downs against the league's best defense in that category.
Harvin has had problems with migraines for years, and they again prevented him from practicing this week. This was the first game he missed. Coach Brad Childress said it was best to be cautious.
"It kills him not to be out here," Childress said. "He's a tough guy, but he can't out-tough through this."
For the Bengals, starting free safety Chris Crocker was active after being listed as questionable on Friday with an ankle injury but he got hurt in the first quarter and didn't return. Crocker was wearing a walking boot in the locker room afterward. Coach Marvin Lewis didn't address his team's injuries.
Backup safety Kyries Hebert (knee) was inactive after being listed as questionable on Friday. For the second straight week, Pat Sims started at defensive tackle for Domata Peko, who is out with a knee injury. Also, cornerback Johnathan Joseph was hurt in the third quarter.
Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco hurt his nose on a hard hit by Minnesota's Cedric Griffin that knocked Ochocinco's helmet off and drew a roughness penalty on Griffin.
"I try to preserve my sexy and he messed up my nose, but it's all good," Ochocinco said. "It's part of the game. When the helmet was coming off, the facemask just tapped it. That's all. But I still look good though."
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