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Vikings-Packers injury preview

10/2/2014
Ann Heisenfelt/AP Photo

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings, ankle (Q): Bridgewater suffered a left ankle injury in Sunday’s game that required him to be carted to the locker room during the fourth quarter. It didn’t take long, however, for the news to turn positive. Initial X-rays were negative, indicating there were no fractures. Bridgewater even appeared at the podium (without crutches) to answer questions postgame, suggesting he was not in major distress. A subsequent MRI turned up nothing of significance. Both Bridgewater and Vikings coach Mike Zimmer expressed early optimism about his condition. All things combined, it appeared this would not be the type of ankle sprain that would sideline Bridgewater for an extended period.

Still, the challenge in Week 5 is that the Vikings’ matchup comes just four days after Bridgewater’s injury. Even in the instance of a mild sprain, that's a quick turnaround time to be able to perform at the level of an NFL quarterback. Of primary concern is whether Bridgewater can be mobile enough to protect himself, escape a pass rush or get out of bounds when necessary. Secondary concerns include whether he can function effectively at quarterback by making dropbacks, pivoting to hand off the ball, step into his throws to deliver the ball accurately, and move well enough in and out of the pocket to lead the team. After resting Tuesday, Bridgewater was able to get some limited work in Wednesday and is officially listed as questionable. The team may want to see how his ankle responds before making an official decision. It would not be surprising if Bridgewater is held out this week to allow him another 10 days of recovery before the Vikings’ next game. If Bridgewater does not suit up, Christian Ponder will be in line to take the reins, which could trigger roster moves Thursday afternoon, according to ESPN.com’s Ben Goessling. In other words, Bridgewater’s questionable status should start to clear up well in advance of game time.

Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings, ankle (P): McKinnon saw a sharp increase in activity in Week 4, carrying the ball 18 times for 135 yards. Prior to last week’s game, the rookie third round draft pick had a total of just five carries on the year totaling just 7 yards. Did all the extra work land him on the injury report? Perhaps, but thankfully this doesn't appear to be anything serious. McKinnon was listed because of his ankle but put in full practices and at probable, is expected to play Thursday night.

Jarrett Boykin, WR, Green Bay Packers, groin (OUT): The news that the Packers will be without Boykin this week does not come as a huge surprise. Boykin missed last Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears after suffering a groin strain in practice earlier in the week. He had appeared to be on the mend from a knee ailment prior to the groin injury, which ultimately sidelined him. The concern for the Packers is that his absence may extend beyond this week, even with 10 days before the next game. As Coach Mike McCarthy told reporters, “I don’t know if he’s going to be ready for Miami.” Groin injuries are a challenge for any position, but particularly for receivers in terms of their overall ability to generate power and explosiveness, in addition to the difficulties with lateral mobility. Like hamstring strains, groin injuries can be susceptible to setbacks, extending the overall recovery time. Expect the Packers to err on the side of caution with Boykin as Week 6 approaches, which could mean more looks for rookie Davante Adams.