The Minnesota Vikings are getting closer to full strength coming off their bye week, especially among the receiving corps.
“I think we’re pretty healthy,” coach Mike Zimmer said after Thursday’s practice.
In their game prior to the bye, the team was without starting receiver Charles Johnson because of a rib injury and No. 3 receiver Jarius Wright played only one snap before a hand injury sidelined him for the rest of the game. No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace suffered a knee injury in the first quarter of the game when he took a helmet to the knee, although he ended up playing through most of the rest of the game.
Wallace said on Wednesday he had “zero doubt” he would play against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, despite not practicing on Wednesday. He returned to practice on Thursday on a limited basis and Zimmer said he assumes all of his receivers will be available, but it remains to be seen who is active among them.
Johnson said on Thursday he will be a game-time decision and he, too, was limited Thursday.
“I’m preparing like I’m going to play. It’s a game-time decision,” Johnson said. “I’m preparing each play like I’m going to play and we’ll see.
“I’ve just got to rest and get out there and do what you can do and control what you can control. Nothing’s perfect. Everybody’s fighting through injury; everybody’s battling through some soreness and you’ve just got to go out there and play through it.”
That seems to be especially true at receiver. With their top three receivers out or limited against Denver, the bottom of the depth chart stepped up. Stefon Diggs, playing in his first game as a rookie, had six catches for 87 yards, tied for the most by a Vikings rookie in his first game. Playing through injury, Wallace ended up with a team-high and season-high eight catches.
Zimmer admitted it gets tougher to keep all six of his receivers involved now that they’re all healthy.
“The thing I keep telling them is you never know when it’s going to be your day,” Zimmer said. “It’s where the coverage is rolled to. Even though you may have some plays called for Wallace, it might end up being (Kyle) Rudolph, so you’ve got to stay patient. I didn’t think going into the game Wallace would have eight catches last week or something like that. You’ve just got to keep going and keep playing. It’s always a good thing to have depth.”INJURY REPORT
|Justin Trattou||94||DE||Foot||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.|
|Mike Wallace||11||WR||Knee||Did Not Part.||Limited Part.|
|Charles Johnson||12||WR||Rib||Limited Part.||Limited Part.|
|Andrew Sendejo||34||S||Knee||Limited Part.||Limited Part.|
|Jarius Wright||17||WR||Hand||Full Part.||Full Part.|
|Jabari Price||25||CB||Shoulder||Full Part.||Full Part.|
|Rhett Ellison||85||TE||Knee||--------------||Limited Part.|
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
|Josh Mauga||90||LB||Groin/Achilles||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.|
|Dontari Poe||92||NT||Ankle||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.|
|Jamell Fleming||30||CB||Elbow||Full Part.||Full Part.|
|Travis Kelce||87||TE||Groin/Neck||Full Part.||Full Part.|
|James O’Shaughnessy||80||TE||Hand||Full Part.||Full Part.|
|Brian Parker||82||TE||Finger||--------------||Full Part.|
|Tamba Hali||91||LB||Knee||--------------||Did Not Part.|