The Minnesota Vikings will be without two starters on defense Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.
Nose tackle Linval Joseph was ruled out for Sunday’s game after missing all three practices this week with a foot injury and Sharrif Floyd is expected to slide over to nose tackle with Tom Johnson, Floyd’s backup, playing the three-technique next to Floyd.
“This year all our D-tackles had to slide from three to nose a lot because of what teams are giving us. He can do it,” Joseph said of Floyd. “He did it a lot last game, the game before. Ever since he’s been back he’s been playing a lot of nose because of the situation, me sliding to three because they’re trying off-balance runs and stuff like that. He had a lot of experience playing nose.”
Floyd doesn’t sound the least bit concerned about the change.
“It’s nothing but a fight and it ain’t nothing but another one,” he said. “I’m just playing ball. It’s something I love to do. If coach asks me to do something, it’s going to get done. They don’t need me crying about it, still got to do it. Do your job.”
Floyd played all along the defensive line at Florida and because of the way teams have attacked the Vikings in the running game there have been plenty of opportunities for him to play nose tackle this year, even when Joseph is in the game.
Both Floyd and Joseph said neither position takes on a significantly higher number of double teams than the other. They both do. But while Floyd said playing the nose requires more power than speed, Joseph thought Floyd’s regular position at the three-technique actually requires more power.
“You have to be more powerful and stout at the three, to be honest with you, because if you getting off the ball there’s going to be more seams – from the three there are more areas to run if it opens up the side,” Joseph said.
Joseph was playing through the pain of his toe injury last week and he said it will be “frustrating” not being in Sunday’s game, but he’s looking forward to coaching from the sidelines.
Like Joseph, safety Andrew Sendejo has also missed three practices this week, although he stretched with the team Friday before practice and then headed inside for treatment on his injured knee. He was also declared out. Second-year player Antone Exum, who made his first start last week for free safety Harrison Smith, is expected to be the starter this week in place of Sendejo at strong safety, although Smith is officially listed as questionable with a knee injury. Exum has worked more at strong safety in practices this year.
“They’re pretty much mirror positions. We’re expected to know both positions,” Exum said. “At any time, you might have to play free or strong. It’s just a little change in mindset – for example you might hear one call as a strong and you might be blitzing, but at the free you might be in the post. You’ve just got to flip your mind. Little trigger points and stuff like that.”
Smith and LB Anthony Barr (hand/groin) were both limited on Friday and listed as questionable.
The Seahawks have the No. 2 rushing offense in the NFL, so the loss of Joseph could be a key injury.
|Linval Joseph||98||DT||Foot||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.|
|Andrew Sendejo||34||S||Knee||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.|
|Harrison Smith||22||S||Knee||Limited Part.||Limited Part.||Limited Part.|
|Anthony Barr||55||LB||Hand/Groin||Limited Part.||Did Not Part.||Limited Part.|
|Robert Blanton||36||S||Ankle||Full Part.||Full Part.||Full Part.|
Friday Injury Report
Out- Joseph, Sendejo