Slowly, the Minnesota Vikings defense is getting some of its best players back on the practice field.
Last week against the Arizona Cardinals, the Vikings were without three of their best defensive players – nose tackle Linval Joseph (foot), linebacker Anthony Barr (groin/hand) and safety Harrison Smith (hamstring) – along with their other starting safety, Andrew Sendejo (knee).
Sendejo was limited on Wednesday and a full participant on Thursday. Smith has returned to practice this week, too, and been limited the last two days.
On Thursday, Joseph joined the crowd of starting defensive players trying to get back on the field as a limited participant in Thursday’s practice.
“He’s feeling better,” head coach Mike Zimmer said of Joseph, but Zimmer declined to offer any insight if Joseph will be able to play Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
With Joseph missing the last two games, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd has been asked to play more nose tackle, but Floyd joked earlier this week that he would give his toe to Joseph so Floyd could move back to his normal three-technique spot.
“Hell, I’d give him one instead of Sharrif’s,” Zimmer cracked.
But the two games that Joseph has been absent from the lineup didn’t provide any noticeable shift with opponents running more between the tackles with Floyd at nose tackle, according to Zimmer.
“No, not really. They’re pretty much doing what they’re doing,” Zimmer said. “(Floyd) did some good things in the game.”
In addition to those players, the Vikings added receiver Charles Johnson to the injury report with an ankle injury and he didn’t participate on Thursday after being a full participant on Wednesday.
|Linval Joseph||98||DT||Foot||Did Not Part.||Limited Part.|
|Anthony Barr||55||LB||Groin/Hand||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.|
|Everson Griffen||97||DE||Shoulder||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.|
|Scott Crichton||95||DE||Concussion/Neck||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.|
|Harrison Smith||22||S||Knee/||Limited Part.||Limited Part.|
|Brandon Watts||58||LB||Rib||Limited Part.||Full Part.|
|Andrew Sendejo||34||S||Knee||Limited Part.||Full Part.|
|Robert Blanton||36||S||Knee||Full Part.||Full Part.|
|Charles Johnson||12||WR||Ankle||---------------||Did Not Part.|
|Bryce Callahan||37||CB||Quadricep||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.|
|Sherrick McManis||27||CB||Concussion||Did Not Part.||Did Not Part.|
|Zach Miller||86||TE||Ribs||Did Not Part.||Limited Part.|
|Alshon Jeffery||17||WR||Calf/Illness||Limited Part.||Did Not Part.|
|Pernell McPhee||92||LB||Knee||Limited Part.||Limited Part.|
|Tracy Porter||21||CB||Ankle||Limited Part.||Limited Part.|
|Will Sutton||93||DL||Knee||Limited Part.||Limited Part.|