Linebacker Casey Matthews signed a one-year, $745,000 contract with the Minnesota Vikings in March and won’t play a down for them.
Matthews hurt his hip during offseason conditioning and never practiced in organized team activities or minicamp in May and June.
“He said it happened going over hurdles or something in the offseason program,” head coach Mike Zimmer said.
While Matthews was placed on season-ending injured reserve, cornerback Josh Robinson is starting training camp on the active/physically-unable-to perform list. That means Robinson likely won’t be back anytime soon, but his season isn’t over.
Robinson was the fourth Viking to suffer a pectoral injury in the last year, joining Phil Loadholt and Brandon Fusco from last year and Brian Robison this year. Zimmer said he has an idea when Robinson might return to practice, but he wasn’t willing to disclose it.
In addition to those injuries, defensive tackle Shamar Stephen and rookie receiver DaVaris Daniels started camp on the active/non-football-injury list. Stephen is expected back in action in a few days.
“He got a massage on his knee because it was a little tender and then he got on an airplane and it swelled up. So it’s nothing,” Zimmer said.
Of those that started camp on an injured list, Robinson was in the running for a prominent role. However, linebacker Anthony Barr, who had a very solid rookie season while starting at strongside linebacker, wasn’t full strength as full-team practices started Sunday, either.
Barr didn’t practice during full-team work in minicamp, either, but Zimmer said his injury wasn’t with the same knee that ended his rookie season prematurely.
“He feels much better. He’s had a really good last two weeks,” Zimmer said. “He’s not in the best physical condition right now. So he’s going to go through the walk-thru, he’s going to go through individuals, and then we’re going to go condition and rehab him during practice, and then he’s going to come back and watch. So we’ve got that with a couple of guys that we’re rehabbing that they weren’t prepared to take the conditioning test yesterday.”
Robison, who said he is feeling close to 100 percent, could be one of the candidates to be limited in full-team work as he returns from a pectoral injury.
“I feel good. I’ve done a lot of rehab during the offseason,” Robison said. “During the break I went home and did a lot of stuff to try to get my range of motion and things like that back. Obviously, the first day coming back it makes you a little nervous, but you’ve got to go out there and try to give it and get some confidence back in it.”
Like Robison, Munnerlyn was held out of full-team work in minicamp. With him it was a foot injury suffered during OTAs.
Zimmer said he would take a wait-and-see approach with Munnerlyn as he battles with Trae Waynes, among others, for the nickel cornerback spot.
“We’re going to keep throwing guys in there and keep looking at them and see where it goes,” Zimmer said. “I kind of have a little plan, and we’ll see if my plan works out or not.”
Zimmer said there was one Viking “who didn’t make it” through Saturday’s conditioning test after the team reported to training camp, but “other than that they were great.”
“It was good to get out here and had a good little walk-through,” Zimmer said after Sunday’s initial practice. “Guys are crisp; they seem to have some recall. It looks a lot different than it did a year ago at this time. Guys are pretty focused and into it. I like this team.”
Matthews’ season done; Robinson on PUP
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