The safeties haven't been very safe.
Harrison Smith had turf toe take him out for at least another month, if not the rest of the season if surgery is required. Jamarca Sanford has had no such long-term injury this year, but the compilation of nagging injuries are starting to frustrate him.
Last Friday, Sanford suffered an ankle injury in practice that limited him. He made it back for Sunday night's game against the Green Bay Packers, but he didn't make it long. A groin strain in the first half ended his night.
Three weeks earlier, he missed the Pittsburgh game in London because of a hamstring injury that also kept him out of two practices and made him limited for another leading up to the Carolina Panthers game.
"Words can't really describe (the frustration)," Sanford said. "You've just got to keep working. Sometimes you just have to question yourself and what are you doing. Are you doing the right things? I know I am. I take care of my body, come in every day and work every day. I take care of my body.
Even worse is that Sanford knows the play in which his groin strain happened, but he can't see any awkward movement on film that shows him why it happened.
"It's part of the game. It's a violent sport," he said. "If I go back and look at the film, I still can't come up with how I got hurt on that play. You normally can go back and see your leg got caught up on somebody or you twist the wrong way, but I still can't come up with it."
Smith won't be eligible to return until the final three games of the season. Andrew Sendejo has been starting in his place.
Sanford is listed as day to day with his groin strain this week. Mistral Raymond replaced him Sunday night.
But, despite missing their top two safeties, Sanford wasn't willing to say that was the reason for the struggling pass defense against the Green Bay Packers.
"I don't think it played no factor. We always feel we can be out there and make an impact, but we've got great guys in Sendejo and Mistral," Sanford said. "They're great players and they can make the same plays me and Harrison can make. You can't say that's the reason we lost."
Sanford signed a two-year, $5 million free-agent deal in March.
The trading deadline came and went and the only change on the Vikings' roster was a run-of-the-mill transaction that saw the team re-signing DE Justin Trattou and waiving TE Chase Ford.
DE Jared Allen, who has the highest salary cap number on the Vikings this year, was being shopped in the final year of his contract, but after reported interest from the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, the trade deadline came and went with the Vikings and most other teams standing firm.
For Leslie Frazier, it was likely welcome circumstance that the rumors were flying on the players' day off.
"They're going to hear a lot of things from different outlets. If they read the Internet and read different things, they're going to read that information," Frazier said Monday. "They'll have friends talking to them and giving them information, but myself and the coaches, we're going to continue to try and keep them focused on the task at hand, in this case trying to prepare as well as we can for this ballgame against Dallas. That's what's most important.
"That's what I have to be able to do as the head coach of our team, just making sure they're focused on that part of it and trying to convey to them the importance of it and not allowing other things to become distractions. We've had enough distractions in this short season, so this week we really need to focus on Dallas and that'll be a point of emphasis when we talk to the team."
Frazier said he hadn't given the trade deadline much thought.
Allen sent a text to FOX Sports after the trade deadline saying he was proud to be a Viking and had watched the rumors on the Internet, just as Frazier predicted would happen. Allen has a $14.28 million base salary and $17.06 million cap number this year. The Vikings would have created $7.56 million in cap space if they had traded him.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Sanford frustrated with injuries
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