Smith in walking boot, Bridgewater to return

Safety Harrison Smith was in a walking boot and using crutches Friday, but QB Teddy Bridgewater is expected to return against Detroit. The status on Chad Greenway’s return is up in the air.

A day after a 42-10 blowout loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Vikings had more walking wounded.

Safety Harrison Smith, perhaps the team’s best defensive player this year, has his left foot in a walking boot and was on crutches leaving the locker room on Friday.

Head coach Mike Zimmer said Smith had an MRI that didn’t show anything significant, but admitted that Smith has “a little ankle” injury.

Smith entered the Packers game second on the team in tackles with 31 and now leads the team with three interceptions, which ties his career high. His status for the Detroit game Oct. 12 is unknown.

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is expected to play against the Lions coming off his sprained ankle on Sunday.

Christian Ponder started in his place, but struggled badly, completing 22 of 44 passes for 222 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

“It was pretty much the same as what you saw. He had some good plays and he had some bad plays,” Zimmer said of Ponder. “The one interception he had, the ball was tipped. The other interception was a bad throw. He wasn’t alone. There was a bunch of people in that pot (Thursday) night.”

Linebacker Chad Greenway, another veteran of the defense, has missed the last two games with three broken ribs and a broken hand and he was non-committal on whether he would be able to play against Detroit, saying the ribs need time to heal.

“I don’t want to say either way. Nobody wants to play football more than I do right now, but it’s one of those deals that if you don’t get them right, they’ll keep showing up,” Greenway said.

“I’ve played through these for two games and did what I could. But I wasn’t able to do my job in taking punches, getting off blocks and making tackles. Running. Walking. Sneezing. Coughing. Laughing. Time is the only thing that can kind of cure it.”

  • The Vikings on Friday released backup QB Chandler Harnish, who was signed to the practice squad earlier in the week and promoted to the active roster on Thursday when it was determined that Teddy Bridgewater wouldn’t play, and promoted FB Zach Line from the practice squad.

  • WR Cordarrelle Patterson “should be fine” after suffering a minor hip injury in Thursday’s game. Patterson had only two catches for 8 yards. “I thought he did some good things last night,” Zimmer said. “He didn’t obviously catch as many balls as we would have liked, or anything like that, but I thought he improved as a receiver last night.”

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