Notebook: Vikings thin at linebacker

The Vikings had three linebackers that weren’t practicing Wednesday.

The Vikings linebacker corps is starting the practice week thin.

With rookie Anthony Barr declared out for the rest of the season last week as he awaits surgery on his meniscus, veteran linebacker Chad Greenway was also not practicing on Wednesday, the day after his father Alan’s funeral in Mount Vernon, S.D. Greenway suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins that limited him to 43 of the 85 defensive plays in that game, but head coach Mike Zimmer said Greenway was at Winter Park on Wednesday.

In addition, rookie linebacker Brandon Watts, who received his first defensive snaps of the year last Sunday – six of them before suffering another hamstring injury – wasn’t practicing, either.

Safety Robert Blanton (knee/ankle) went through the stretching portion of practice, but was officially listed as limited.

On offense, guard Charlie Johnson was also limited but returned to practice after missing the last two games with an ankle injury.

The offense was also without receiver Jarius Wright, who took a violent forearm to the lower back from Miami Dolphins defensive back Jimmy Wilson in the fourth quarter. Tight end Kyle Rudolph (ankle) was also held out of Wednesday’s practice.

Several other Vikings were limited: WR Greg Jennings (hamstring), S Antone Exum (knee), RT Mike Harris (foot) and TE Chase Ford (foot).


  • The Vikings signed LB Justin Anderson (Louisiana-Lafayette) to the practice squad.

  • RB Henry Josey, signed off the Jaguars practice squad, didn’t arrive in Minnesota on time to practice Wednesday, but he was shown to his locker shortly after practice. He will wear number 33, the number previously worn by Ben Tate, who was released on Tuesday.

  • After not getting voted into the Pro Bowl on Tuesday, S Harrison Smith said he isn’t even one of the top alternates at his position. The Vikings didn’t have anyone selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time since 1983, but that could change as injury replacements are named.

  • The Vikings practiced outside for the first time in over a month. They ordered a field heating system from England that was put in place in November, but Wednesday’s practice was the first time they uncovered the field for practice purposes.

    For the Bears, QB Jimmy Clausen (concussion), DE Jared Allen (ribs), S Chris Conte (quad), K Robbie Gould (quad) and DT Jeremiah Ratliff (knee) didn’t practice.

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