- Ben Goessling, ESPN Staff Writer
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings deactivated guard Charlie Johnson for Thursday's game against the Washington Redskins, adding him to the list of six players they had already ruled out. That means both Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman are active for the game, and the Vikings can essentially avoid divulging who their backup quarterback is, unless Christian Ponder gets injured or is benched.
Here's how banged up the Vikings are: They had listed defensive tackle Letroy Guion as doubtful for Thursday's game, but put him on their active roster simply because they had already used their seven inactive spots on other players who were injured. Essentially, the Vikings have more injured players than they have inactive designations. Guion likely won't play, and Sharrif Floyd is listed as the starting nose tackle alongside Kevin Williams.
That point is worth mentioning, because the Vikings have resisted the idea of putting Floyd and Williams on the field at the same time, preferring to play Floyd at three-technique. He has rushed from the nose-tackle spot on some occasions in the nickel package, but hasn't had to play there much against the run. It'll be interesting to see how he fares against a team that likes to run up the middle, and how he'll do against the Redskins' option offense.
Joe Berger will start in place of Johnson at left guard, and Xavier Rhodes will start at right cornerback in place of Chris Cook. That's another spot where injuries are forcing the Vikings to use their first-round picks differently than they had planned.
Here is the full list of Vikings inactives: