Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings defense hurting while prepping for No. 1 offense

The Vikings are in rough shape defensively as they prepare to face the NFL’s top-ranked offense on Thursday.

Getting set to face the NFL’s No. 1 offense on a short week would be difficult enough. The Minnesota Vikings were preparing to do so on Monday without any safeties on their active roster participating in practice.

Harrison Smith injured his hamstring 10 plays into Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, Andrew Sendejo (knee) was inactive, and Antone Exum has a broken rib and injured AC joint, according to ESPN.

On Monday, Robert Blanton joined them in the infirmary with a sleeve on his knee after being lost for one play on Sunday.

Veteran cornerback Terence Newman, who was moved to safety while Blanton was out on Sunday for one play, was taking reps at safety on Monday, along with practice-squad safety Anthony Harris.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Newman was used at safety only as an emergency measure and “won’t have to” play safety on Sunday.

“We only three safeties up and two of them were hurt so we had to just stick him in there for a couple plays,” Zimmer said.

But the injuries on defense didn’t stop in the backfield. Seven players missed practice on Monday.

Nose tackle Linval Joseph remained a non-participant after being inactive on Sunday because of a foot injury. Linebacker Anthony Barr missed practice with a groin injury after he was knocked out of Sunday’s game after seven plays, and Edmond Robinson, who was inactive on Sunday, was getting reps at strongside linebacker on Monday. Jason Trusnik took on that duty in the game because Robinson was inactive.

Reserve linebacker Brandon Watts (rib) was also missing from Monday’s practice.

Defensive end Scott Crichton was limited on Monday with an ankle injury.

“This is the NFL and guys get banged up all the time,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “We’re not the only team that has guys hurt so we line up and go play. Figure out what they can do and do it good.”


Player # Pos. Injury 7-Dec
Linval Joseph 98 DT Foot Did Not Part.
Andrew Sendejo 34 S Knee Did Not Part.
Anthony Barr 55 LB Groin/Hand Did Not Part.
Harrison Smith 22 S Knee/ Did Not Part.
Brandon Watts 58 LB Rib Did Not Part.
Robert Blanton 36 S Knee Did Not Part.
Antone Exum Jr. 32 S Rib/ Did Not Part.
Scott Crichton 95 DE Ankle Limited Part.


Player # Pos. Injury 7-Dec
Andre Ellington 38 RB Toe Did Not Part.
Jermaine Gresham 84 TE Knee Did Not Part.
Tony Jefferson 22 S Hamstring Did Not Part.
Jerraud Powers 25 CB Calf Did Not Part.
Frostee Rucker 92 DT Ankle Did Not Part.
John Brown 12 WR Hamstring Limited Part.
Larry Fitzgerald 11 WR Ankle Limited Part.
Michael Floyd 15 WR Hamstring Limited Part.
Rashad Johnson 26 S Ankle Limited Part.
Mike Leach 82 LS Knee Limited Part.
Cory Redding 90 DT Ankle Limited Part.
Stepfan Taylor 30 RB Shoulder Limited Part.

Viking Update Top Stories