EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Jamarca Sanford is back in the Minnesota Vikings' starting lineup at safety following Mistral Raymond's ankle injury, but he can easily recall the depths to which he sunk after being told at the end of the preseason than Raymond had won the starting spot.
Sanford, who started all 15 games he played last season, had worked on his conditioning during the offseason, trying to make himself better suited in pass coverage. But by the time the preseason wrapped up, Minnesotadecided to stick with Raymond, a sixth-round pick in 2011, in a young, inexperienced safety duo with rookie Harrison Smith.
When Sanford got the news, it took some time for himto recover.
"It took me down," Sanford said. "I'm not going to lie; it took me a minute. The first three days, I was just dead. I was just wondering, looking for an answer like, 'What I didn't do right, or what did I do wrong?' "
Sanford was hurt, believing he had done everything in his power to retain the starting spot he...