RB Adrian Peterson didn't participate in practice Wednesday or Thursday because of an ankle injury that he has played through for most of the last two games, but, as expected, he was on the field Friday and participated fully in practice.
DE Jared Allen was limited in Wednesday's practice, but he sat out Thursday because of a groin injury. He, too, was on the field for all of Friday's practice.
The return of Allen is good news for a Vikings team that can use the defending NFL sacks champion against a Cardinals offense that has surrendered 22 sacks in the last three weeks. Allen has four sacks through six games but one in each of the last three games.
Peterson's return to practice should also help against a Cardinals defense that is one of only four teams in the NFL to have given up fewer than 100 points so far this season.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier was confident both Peterson and Allen would be on the field for Friday's practice and ready to play Sunday.
"They'll be ready to go," Frazier said after Thursday's practice.
WR Jerome Simpson, the Vikings' biggest deep threat in the passing game, continued to practice. After being limited last week with back and leg issues and then deactivated for Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins, Simpson has practiced fully this week and is expected to start Sunday, Frazier said.
"Barring any unforeseen circumstance, he should be ready to go on Sunday. He's had a good week," Frazier said Friday, confirming Simpson would start.
While safety Mistral Raymond has been ruled out and will miss his fourth straight game because of a partially dislocated ankle suffered Sept. 23, the Vikings have been relatively healthy this season. They have just three players on injured reserve, and none of them was expected to start this season.
"Every time I see these injury reports from around the league and there are key players on teams being lost for the season, so far we've been very, very blessed in a lot of ways," Frazier said.
KENNEDY FIRES BACK
Former Vikings defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy refuted statements by the NFL that claimed he was a source of information for the league's investigation in the alleged bounties offered by coaches of the New Orleans Saints when they were playing the Vikings in the 2009 NFC Championship Game.
"The Commissioner of the NFL recently distributed a memo to all 32 NFL teams regarding the alleged Saints bounty program that contained blatant lies about me, thereby adding me to the list of men whose reputations and character have been irreparably damaged by the shoddy, careless, shameful so-called investigation behind this sham proceeding," Kennedy wrote in a release distributed the NFL Players Association. "Roger Goodell identifies me as the ‘whistleblower' who approached former Viking coach Brad Childress about an alleged bounty on Brett Favre in the NFC Championship game.
"That is a lie. I had no knowledge about any alleged bounty to reveal to anyone, and I never informed anyone that I did. Contrary to the false information disseminated by the NFL, Coach Childress approached me and asked me if I knew anything about such an allegation, and I told him the truth: I did not. I had no knowledge of any such alleged bounty.
Kennedy acknowledged that he twice talked briefly – about 30 seconds each, he said – to NFL Security. Kennedy said the second time NFL Security called, he called his agent, who hired an attorney for Kennedy. After that, Kennedy said, he never heard from the NFL again.
"The third lie that Roger Goodell told about me is perhaps the most upsetting because it involves a man for whom I have great respect and affection, Anthony Hargrove," Kennedy wrote in the release. "The NFL states that Anthony Hargrove told me about the alleged bounty on Brett Favre. That is an utter lie; it simply never happened. I never discussed an alleged bounty with Anthony Hargrove before, during or after the NFC Championship game. The only discussion I have had with Anthony about the alleged bounty occurred when we recently spoke about the NFL's egregiously flawed and unjust investigation and proceeding.
"I am not one of the players who has been officially disciplined by the NFL as part of this sham, but I now know that I too have been damaged by the NFL's complete disregard for truth and integrity."
"You don't know how people react to a moment like that. We'll see how he does. Everybody is different," Frazier said.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.