Blanton returning, Robinson on thin ice?

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings seem down to their final few open competitions, and it's possible they'd have things settled in the secondary if players had been able to stay healthier. Injuries have been a constant factor in the race for starting spots at both cornerback and safety, and while the Vikings are getting closer to having a fully healthy group at the latter position, they're still affected by health questions at the former spot.

While safety Robert Blanton is scheduled to return from a hamstring injury and be back at practice on Monday, coach Mike Zimmer said cornerback Jabari Price would likely miss Saturday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs because of injury. He also seemed to be running out of patience for cornerback Josh Robinson, who has been dogged by a hamstring injury throughout camp.

Asked about Robinson last week, Zimmer said, "It's hard to make the club in the tub," and added on Monday that Captain Munnerlyn, not Robinson, would likely start in the Vikings' base defense. And when he was asked for injury updates on Blanton and Robinson, Zimmer provided information on Blanton before saying, "The other guy? Who knows."

If Robinson isn't starting in the base defense, he'll have to hope he can beat out enough other cornerbacks to hang onto a spot in the Vikings' sub packages and keep his position on the roster. The Vikings have enough questions at cornerback that Robinson might be fine, but it was clear Zimmer was miffed on Monday about how long it's taken Robinson to get back on the field.

Cornerback Shaun Prater, who left Saturday's game with a concussion, should be back on the practice field on Tuesday, Zimmer said. And the coach added defensive tackle Linval Joseph, who still won't play on Saturday after getting hit by a stray bullet two weeks ago, is starting to do more rehab work.