Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr returned to practice on Friday on at least a limited basis, indicating he should be ready to play on Sunday after suffering a lower back injury that kept him out of Wednesday and Thursday’s practices.
Head coach Mike Zimmer said Barr was “full go,” but he was listed as questionable on the injury report.
However, Barr will be without his fellow linebacker, Eric Kendricks, running beside him. Kendricks suffered a rib injury on Sunday that has kept him out of this week’s practices and he was ruled out of Sunday’s game.
Audie Cole was taking Kendricks’ place at middle linebacker this week in practice.
“He’s a smart guy,” Zimmer said of Cole. “He’s very passionate about his job. He’s always looking for an opportunity to show what he can do. Most of the time when he’s had those opportunities he’s done well. He takes a lot of pride in his job. He’s a great team guy, adds a lot of value to us, regardless of what’s he’s doing – playing special teams or if it’s defense.”
Also continuing to sit out Friday was defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, who has missed the last two games with knee and ankle injuries. He and defensive end Justin Trattou were rule out in addition to Kendricks.
Safety Harrison Smith was on the field Friday after a neck injury ended his practice early on Thursday, but he is listed as probable.
“Just needed a little rest, some time to rest up. So I got it and am ready to go,” Smith said Friday.
Joe Berger (chest) and Stefon Diggs (hamstring), who didn’t participate on Wednesday and were limited on Thursday, remained on the field Friday and returned to full participation. Both were listed as probable, by definition meaning they are a “virtual certainty” to play.
Facing Todd Gurley, who is averaging 141 yards in his four starts with the Rams, Zimmer said he expects a grind-it-out type of game, but you never can be sure.
“They’re good defensively. They run the ball effectively. They’ve got big-time weapons with (Tavon) Austin outside and (Jared) Cook is a big-time tight end. (Kenny) Britt is a guy that goes up and gets the ball, but if you’re just looking at it – sometimes they don’t all work out that way. It’s just how the game gets played. They’re very good defensively and we’re OK defensively.”
Gurley will provide a formidable challenge for Cole, who is expected to make his seventh career start.
“He’s a good back. Obviously everyone knows that. We’ve just got to stop him and stop the way they run the ball. We’ve just got to do it. That’s about all it comes down to,” Cole said.
“They’re running the ball well. He broke a lot of nice, long runs on stuff. We’ve just got to keep him contained. It’s tough keeping him under so many yards when he pops one for 70 or something. We’re just trying to contain him every play. We’ve got to do it.”
|Anthony Barr||55||LB||Low Back||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.||Full Part.|
|Joe Berger||61||C||Chest||Did Not Part.||Limited Part.||Full Part.|
|Eric Kendricks||54||LB||Ribs||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.|
|Sharrif Floyd||73||DT||Knee/Ankle||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.|
|Stefon Diggs||14||WR||Hamstring||Did Not Part.||Limited Part.||Full Part.|
|Justin Trattou||94||DE||Foot||Limited Part.||Limited Part.||Limited Part.|
|Everson Griffen||97||DE||Neck||Limited Part.||Limited Part.||Full Part.|
|Tom Johnson||92||DT||Knee||Limited Part.||Full Part.||Full Part.|
|Audie Cole||57||LB||Finger||Limited Part.||Full Part.||Full Part.|
Friday Injury Report
Out-Floyd, Trattou, Kendricks
ST. LOUIS RAMS
|Chris Long||91||DE||Knee||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.|
|Robert Quinn||94||DE||Knee||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.|
|William Hayes||95||DE||Thigh||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.||Limited Part.|
|Tre Mason||27||RB||Ankle||Limited Part.||Limited Part.||Full Part.|
|Chase Reynolds||34||RB||Thigh||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.||Limited Part.|
|Rob Havenstein||79||T||Ankle||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.|
|T.J. McDonald||25||S||Foot||Limited Part.||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.|
Friday Injury Report