Minnesota Vikings declare 4 defensive starters out

The Vikings will be without three of their best defensive players and three of their top four safeties against the Cardinals.

The Minnesota Vikings are without three of their best defensive players going against the NFL’s top-ranked offense.

Run-stuffing nose tackle Linval Joseph will miss his second straight game with a toe injury. Playmaking linebacker Anthony Barr is out with groin and hand injuries. And versatile safety Harrison Smith is out with knee and hamstring injuries.

Welcome to prime time, Vikings defense.

None of those players participated in any of the Vikings’ less strenuous practices this week while preparing in a hurry for the Arizona Cardinals. In addition, the Vikings declared safety Andrew Sendejo out with a knee injury, despite being limited Tuesday and Wednesday, and placed safety Antone Exum, who had started the last two games, on injured reserve on Tuesday after he suffered rib and shoulder injuries.

With Smith, Sendejo and Exum out, Robert Blanton (knee) returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday and is questionable. With three of the top four safeties are out, Blanton is likely to man one of the starting spots if he can play. The other is likely to fall to Anthony Harris, who was promoted from the practice squad on Tuesday, with Shaun Prater, signed Tuesday, offering what little depth the Vikings have at the position.

Sharrif Floyd is expected to start for Joseph with Tom Johnson taking Floyd’s three-technique spot. Rookie Edmond Robinson, who has been inactive the last three weeks, is expected to fill in for Barr at strongside linebacker.

Linebacker Brandon Watts who has gotten some action on defense of late, didn’t practice this week with a rib injury and isn’t expected to play. DE Scott Crichton is listed as probable with an ankle injury.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Player # Pos. Injury 7-Dec 8-Dec 9-Dec
Linval Joseph 98 DT Foot Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Did Not Part.
Andrew Sendejo 34 S Knee Did Not Part. Limited Part. Limited Part.
Anthony Barr 55 LB Groin/Hand Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Did Not Part.
Harrison Smith 22 S Knee/ Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Did Not Part.
Hamstring
Brandon Watts 58 LB Rib Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Did Not Part.
Robert Blanton 36 S Knee Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Limited Part.
Antone Exum Jr. 32 S Rib/ Did Not Part. IR IR
Shoulder
Scott Crichton 95 DE Ankle Limited Part. Limited Part. Full Part.

Wednesday Injury Report

Out-Joseph, Barr, Smith, Watts, Sendejo

Doubtful-

Questionable- Blanton

Probable-Crichton

ARIZONA CARDINALS

Player # Pos. Injury 7-Dec 8-Dec 9-Dec
Andre Ellington 38 RB Toe Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Did Not Part.
Jermaine Gresham 84 TE Knee Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Did Not Part.
Tony Jefferson 22 S Hamstring Did Not Part. Limited Part. Limited Part.
Jerraud Powers 25 CB Calf Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Did Not Part.
Frostee Rucker 92 DT Ankle Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Did Not Part.
John Brown 12 WR Hamstring Limited Part. Limited Part. Full Part.
Larry Fitzgerald 11 WR Ankle Limited Part. Limited Part. Full Part.
Michael Floyd 15 WR Hamstring Limited Part. Limited Part. Full Part.
Rashad Johnson 26 S Ankle Limited Part. Limited Part. Full Part.
Mike Leach 82 LS Knee Limited Part. Full Part. Full Part.
Cory Redding 90 DT Ankle Limited Part. Limited Part. Limited Part.
Stepfan Taylor 30 RB Shoulder Limited Part. Limited Part. Full Part.
Earl Watford 78 T/G Hand --------------- Did Not Part. IR

Wednesday Injury Report

Out- Ellington, Powers, Rucker

Doubtful- Gresham

Questionable- Jefferson, Redding

Probable- All Others


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