Minnesota Vikings getting injured defenders Linval Joseph, Anthony Barr and Harrison Smith back

The Vikings appear to be getting some of their best defensive players healthy for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants.

Are the Minnesota Vikings back to full strength?

They might be close to it for Sunday night’s game against the New York Giants.

Arguably the team’s top three defensive players – nose tackle Linval Joseph, linebacker Anthony Barr and safety Harrison Smith – were all back on the practice field Wednesday on a limited basis. That’s a big improvement from where they’ve been most of the last two weeks.

All three have been inactive with injuries the last two games, with Joseph inactive for the last three weeks.

“I think they’ll play, but I have no idea,” head coach Mike Zimmer said on Wednesday.

Joseph is facing his former team, the New York Giants, and told New York reporters on a conference call that his foot injury won’t keep him out this week.

“I am ready to go,” Joseph said. “I can’t wait to play Sunday.”

Barr has been dealing with a groin injury and was changed on the injury report this week to a knee injury, but sounded optimistic he would play. Smith has been dealing with knee and hamstring injuries. Both of them tried to play against Seattle three weeks ago but didn’t make it through the first two drives.

In addition to those three important defenders, defensive end Everson Griffen was limited to mostly pass-rushing downs on Sunday and running back Adrian Peterson tried to play through a sprained ankle that he hurt in the first half. Griffen was also on the practice field on Wednesday on a limited basis.

Peterson wasn’t practicing on Wednesday but indicated he should be able to play on Sunday and Zimmer reiterated that Peterson “should be good to go.”

“I think we’re starting to get healthy and we’ll be alright,” Zimmer said of the overall injuries.


Player # Pos. Injury 23-Dec
Josh Robinson 21 CB Concussion Did Not Part.
Adrian Peterson 28 RB Ankle/ Did Not Part.
Rhett Ellison 85 TE Ankle Did Not Part.
Harrison Smith 22 S Knee/ Limited Part.
Anthony Barr 55 LB Knee Limited Part.
Linval Joseph 98 DT Foot Limited Part.
Everson Griffen 97 DE Shoulder Limited Part.
Sharrif Floyd 73 DT Not Injury Related Limited Part.
Charles Johnson 12 WR Ankle Full Part.


Player # Pos. Injury 23-Dec
Dwayne Harris 86 WR Shoulder Did Not Part.
Devon Kennard 59 LB Foot Did Not Part.
Markus Kuhn 78 DT Knee Did Not Part.
Cooper Taylor 30 S Concussion Did Not Part.
Orleans Darkwa 26 RB Illness Limited Part.
James Morris 46 LB Quad Limited Part.
George Selvie 93 DE Concussion Limited Part.

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