Mike Wallace, Charles Johnson seeing improved health

The Minnesota Vikings are getting improved health, especially at receiver, as the week after their bye progresses.

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.”

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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

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Player # Pos. Injury 14-Oct 15-Oct
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 

Player # Pos. Injury 14-Oct 15-Oct
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.

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