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.
|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.|
|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|
|Scott Crichton||95||DE||Ankle||Limited Part.||Limited Part.||Full Part.|
Wednesday Injury Report
Out-Joseph, Barr, Smith, Watts, Sendejo
|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
Questionable- Jefferson, Redding
Probable- All Others