NFC North: 2014 NFL injury wire

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings will be without three defensive starters and an offensive lineman on Sunday in Detroit, and Cordarrelle Patterson's status is uncertain.

Barr
The Vikings listed linebacker Anthony Barr (knee), safety Robert Blanton (ankle/knee), defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (knee) and guard Charlie Johnson (ankle) as out for Sunday's game against the Lions. Patterson, who showed up on the injury report for the first time on Friday, is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury.

Patterson was returning kickoffs during the open portion of practice, which means he could have tweaked his hamstring later in the session once it was closed to reporters. He played only one offensive snap last week against the New York Jets and lost a fumble on the opening kickoff in the second half.

The loss of Barr and Floyd, in particular, might hinder the Vikings as they face the 9-4 Lions on Sunday afternoon. Detroit's offense thrives when Matthew Stafford has time to throw downfield to Calvin Johnson, and though the Lions beat the Vikings with quick passes in Week 6, Johnson wasn't on the field for that game. Stafford has been sacked 39 times this year; the Vikings can hope for another big day from Everson Griffen, but having Barr and Floyd would certainly help them generate a pass rush.

With Blanton out, Andrew Sendejo figures to start at safety next to Harrison Smith. Vlad Ducasse will likely start at left guard with Johnson sidelined, meaning the Vikings will have just two of their five preferred linemen (Matt Kalil and John Sullivan) on the field against a Lions pass rush that took Teddy Bridgewater down eight times on Oct. 12.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings got back to work on Wednesday with a fairly extensive group of players missing from practice. Linebacker Anthony Barr and Sharrif Floyd were still out with the knee injuries that kept them out of Sunday's game, and safety Robert Blanton joined them on the injury report after sustaining ankle and knee injuries in overtime against the New York Jets.

Coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday that Barr was feeling better, but still wasn't sure about the rookie's status for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions.

In addition to Barr, Floyd and Blanton, guard Charlie Johnson (ankle) and fullback Jerome Felton (neck) missed practice. X-rays on Johnson's sprained ankle were negative on Sunday, but it remains to be seen whether he'll be healthy enough to play on Sunday.

Safety Harrison Smith was limited with the shoulder injury that's bothered him for several weeks, and defensive end Everson Griffen also was limited with a low back injury. It's the first time Griffen has been on the injury report for his back, and we'll have to see if it affects his practice time through the rest of the week before Sunday.

Cornerback Jabari Price, who has dealt with a nagging hamstring injury, returned to full participation.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings will head into Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers with four of their starters listed as questionable, but most of the players in question -- Greg Jennings, Jarius Wright, Matt Kalil and Sharrif Floyd -- seemed optimistic they would play Sunday.

Of the four, Floyd would seem like the biggest unknown. The defensive tackle did not practice Friday after banging knees with another player during Wednesday's practice. He said a MRI showed no damage to his knee, but the fact he did not participate on Thursday or Friday -- and had crutches next to his locker both of those days -- leaves his status in some doubt.

"It's in Coach [Mike Zimmer]'s hands," Floyd said. "I'll go as he goes."

Kalil got a day off on Friday, with what Zimmer called a "minor aggravation" to his knee. Zimmer said Kalil has been dealing with the issue for a while, and gave him a day to rest it on Friday. The left tackle said he's planning to play Sunday.

Jennings and Wright also seem likely to play; Jennings hurt his ribs on Sunday and Wright strained his hamstring, but both receivers practiced in full on Sunday.

Running back Matt Asiata, however, won't play on Sunday after sustaining a concussion last week. That could mean a larger role for Ben Tate, whom the Vikings claimed off waivers from Cleveland on Wednesday.

"He's catching on quick," Zimmer said. "He's got some explosiveness hitting the hole. Obviously he's a big-bodied guy. He's done a good job in protection so far, so we'll see how it goes."
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings should head into Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins in relatively good health.

Hodges
Cornerback Jabari Price is questionable for Sunday's game with a hamstring injury, and tight end Kyle Rudolph will miss his sixth game after sports hernia surgery, but the rest of the Vikings' roster is probable for the team's first home game in three weeks. That means linebacker Gerald Hodges (hamstring) should be back on the field after missing two games, possibly giving the Vikings more flexibility to use Anthony Barr at defensive end, and cornerback Josh Robinson (sprained ankle) should be ready to play against a productive Redskins passing game.

"We're starting to get healthier," coach Mike Zimmer said. "We've obviously lost some guys for the year, but the guys that were nicked up are starting to get healthier."

The lack of injuries likely means the Vikings' list of inactives on Sunday will include some familiar names, including guard David Yankey, who hasn't been on the active roster all season. Some analysts credited the Vikings with a steal when they took Yankey in the fifth round of the draft in May, but the Stanford product could still be a ways from seeing game action.

"He's got to get stronger," Zimmer said. "He's doing OK with the technique and understanding. He's got to get stronger. He's got to be more stout in the areas where he needs to be."
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings could be without cornerback Josh Robinson on Sunday, after Robinson injured his ankle during individual drills on Thursday.

Robinson did not practice on Friday, indicating his availability for Sunday is in some doubt. The cornerback said after practice, however, that he's feeling better after rolling his ankle on Thursday, and he sounded optimistic he could still play Sunday.

Robinson
"We were just going through the motions and not really trying to go full speed or anything like that [when the injury occurred]," Robinson said. "That should help as far as recovery time."

Asked about Robinson's availability for Sunday, coach Mike Zimmer said, "I don't know. We'll find out a little bit more tomorrow."

If Robinson were unable to play, rookie Jabari Price would likely be next in line.

With John Sullivan ready to return from a concussion this week, the Vikings won't need Joe Berger to start at center on Sunday, but it seems possible Berger could find his way into the lineup at right guard instead. He saw some first-team snaps at the spot this week, while Vlad Ducasse worked his way back from a knee injury. Berger and Zimmer were coy about the plan for the offensive line, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see Berger in the lineup on Sunday.

"I may or may not know that," Berger said when asked whether he has been told if he'll start on Sunday. "If you guys don't know that, I'm going to let the coach tell you."
MINNEAPOLIS -- While the Minnesota Vikings still haven't decided whether quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will play on Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers, they've made plans to be without linebacker Chad Greenway for a second straight game.

Greenway
Greenway, who is dealing with a broken rib and broken hand, was ruled out for Thursday's game, after he saw his 90-game starting streak come to an end on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Greenway's absence means Gerald Hodges will again start at weak-side linebacker against the Packers.

Greenway and tight end Kyle Rudolph -- who is expected to miss a total of six weeks after sports hernia surgery last week -- are the only Vikings players who will definitely miss the game. Bridgewater was listed as questionable with a sprained left ankle.

The seven other players on the Vikings' injury report -- Captain Munnerlyn, Jerick McKinnon, Josh Robinson, Michael Mauti, Brandon Watts, Rodney Smith and Jerome Felton -- were full participants in Wednesday's practice and are probable for Thursday's game.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings were without three prominent defensive players -- linebacker Chad Greenway, defensive back Josh Robinson and defensive tackle Linval Joseph -- on Wednesday, and a fourth (safety Harrison Smith) was limited with a knee injury.

Greenway, who played this past Sunday's game with a broken hand and left it with a broken rib, wasn't scheduled to practice on Wednesday, anyway, after his wife, Jennifer Capista, gave birth to the couple's third child on Tuesday. Coach Mike Zimmer said Greenway likely wouldn't be able to play if he was in the same state he was at the end of Sunday's game, and Gerald Hodges will likely get most of the work at weakside linebacker in practice this week, as he did last week. Once Greenway left the game, rookie linebacker Anthony Barr said he took over the responsibility of relaying the Vikings' defensive play calls in the huddle.

Joseph, who missed practice with a shoulder injury, had shoulder surgery in the offseason, though it's not known if his current injury is related to his previous ailment. Robinson left Sunday's game when his recurring hamstring issues came back, and he missed practice again on Wednesday with the same problem.

In addition to Smith, linebacker Brandon Watts was limited with a knee injury. Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (shoulder), linebacker Michael Mauti (foot) and wide receiver Rodney Smith (hamstring) were listed on the injury report, but practiced in full.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings were without linebacker Chad Greenway -- because of a broken hand and a rib injury -- at practice on Wednesday, as well as right tackle Phil Loadholt (ankle) and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (shoulder).

Tight end Kyle Rudolph and cornerback Xavier Rhodes joined those three players on a list of Vikings starters who missed practice time on Wednesday. Rudolph was limited with an abdominal injury, which showed up on the Vikings' injury report for the first time, while Rhodes was limited because of the groin injury he played with last Sunday. Coach Mike Zimmer said Rhodes will be "fine" to play on Sunday, after he played last week's game against the New England Patriots.

Linebacker Brandon Watts, who missed the Vikings' first two games with a knee injury, also practiced in a limited capacity for the first time this season. Wide receiver Rodney Smith (hamstring) was limited, and linebacker Michael Mauti (foot) was a full participant.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The prospect of cornerback Xavier Rhodes and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd playing in the Minnesota Vikings' home opener on Sunday appears to be improving.

Floyd
Rhodes
Coach Mike Zimmer said on Thursday afternoon that there is a "good chance" that Rhodes (who is nursing a groin injury) and Floyd (who has a shoulder injury) could be ready for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots. Rhodes said on Thursday that he is feeling better than he did early in the week, and he was on the field with his helmet during the portion of Vikings practice open to reporters on Thursday.

"He was alright," Zimmer said. "We're just getting him in some (drills)."

Floyd did not practice on Thursday, but Zimmer said there was a possibility he would be able to do at least some work in the game on Sunday. If Floyd isn't available, Tom Johnson would likely start at tackle for the Vikings.

"We'll know more tomorrow and the next day," Zimmer said.

Also, Adrian Peterson did not participate in practice after going through warm-ups with the team during the open portion, but the Vikings say his absence was not injury-related.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings will officially be without three players for their season opener on Sunday in St. Louis: linebacker Brandon Watts (knee), linebacker Michael Mauti (foot) and fullback Zach Line (ankle).

Defensive end Everson Griffen, who missed his second day of practice with an illness on Friday, said he'll play on Sunday, and that he'll start the game at right end. Tackle Mike Harris, who joined the team after the Vikings claimed him off waivers last Sunday, is questionable with a shoulder injury.

Wide receiver Rodney Smith (neck) and cornerback Jabari Price (shoulder) were full participants on Friday, and both are probable to play.
MANKATO, Minn. -- For the first time on Monday, Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer will get to see safety Andrew Sendejo on the practice field.

Sendejo
The Vikings activated Sendejo from the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list on Monday, bringing him back from lower back and ankle injuries that had kept him out since the start of the team's offseason program. Sendejo started 10 games last year when injuries decimated the Vikings' secondary, but it had become apparent in recent days that he needed to get back on the field sooner than later to make an impression on Zimmer and assert himself in a crowded race for the starting safety spot opposite Harrison Smith.

It wouldn't be surprising to see the Vikings ease Sendejo back into practice for a day or two, but once he's up to full speed, it bears watching how the team will use him. Robert Blanton seemed to have the inside track on the starting spot until he strained his hamstring last Monday, and a league source said last week Blanton could miss several weeks with the injury. In his absence, Mistral Raymond has gotten some first-team work, and Jamarca Sanford has gotten a longer look after missing time with injuries of his own. Those two, plus Kurt Coleman and rookie Antone Exum, present plenty of competition for Sendejo.

The Vikings are back on the practice field on Monday afternoon, following a day off on Sunday. The team shortened its morning walk-through to special-teams work only, so Monday afternoon will be the first chance to see where Sendejo fits.

 

 

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