Winfield, who sat out last week against the New York Giants, was listed as questionable Friday and said earlier in the week that he hoped to be back on the field. The injury has bothered him for the last month and flared up in the second quarter against the Raiders two weeks ago.
Receiver Troy Williamson also was deactivated with a concussion sustained during a kickoff return last week against the Giants. He practiced Wednesday, but sat out the rest of the week with headaches.
Robert Ferguson started in his place, and rookie Marcus McCauley got his second straight start at cornerback for the Vikings, who also made a switch in the starting lineup at defensive end.
Erasmus James replaced Ray Edwards at right defensive end. Edwards started the first 11 games this season while James worked his way back from a serious knee injury.
Both the Lions and the Vikings came into the 2007 season with high hopes of making a run for the playoffs, and while Detroit started off hot three losses in a row could signal more struggles to come. Minnesota struggled early and appears to be making a late season run, winning three of its last four games, most recently an impressive trouncing of the Giants on the road. The Lions always provide an entertaining game with offensive coordinator Mike Martz's wide-open passing game and impressive stable of wide receivers, while the the Vikings have developed a very strong run defense and also got a good performance out of its pass defense last week with three interceptions, all of which were returned for touchdowns.