Adrian Peterson returns; NT Linval Joseph doubtful for Minnesota Vikings

Adrian Peterson returned to practice on Friday, but the Vikings were missing their starting defensive tackles two days before facing the Packers and Eddie Lacy.

The Minnesota Vikings' biggest concern on defense could be stopping Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy, but that task could be more difficult if Minnesota’s starting defensive tackles aren’t available or playing through injuries.

Nose tackle Linval Joseph hasn’t practiced all week and that was the case again on Friday as he left practice after stretching. He is listed as doubtful to play against the Packers on Sunday night.

Joseph suffered a toe injury more than a month ago, missed three games and returned last week. However, he left last Sunday night’s game briefly before returning.

“Linval’s a beast. To me, he’s a Pro Bowl nose tackle,” said backup defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis. “There’s no way he should have been left out. I just try to work as hard as him and try to emulate everything he does. We’re probably the same age, but that’s literally like a big brother. We’re the same age but he’s just that good so I just try to learn from him.”

Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, who had moved over to nose tackle during Joseph’s absence, was limited on Wednesday and Thursday with a knee injury and was simply an observer at Friday’s practice, but he is listed as probable to play.

Floyd said there wasn’t a setback with his knee injury and said he would play. That could mean duty at his normal three-technique or at nose tackle, where he played when Joseph was out.

“Duty calls, no matter what that may be,” Floyd said. “Three-tech, nose, however it pans out, but at the end of the day we just going out to play ball.”

Those two defensive tackles are key to the Vikings’ effort to help limit Lacy, the Packers’ bruising back who is averaging 106 yards in five games against the Vikings. In their absence Friday, Ellis and Tom Johnson were the defensive tackles. Ellis, acquired on Oct. 20 when Shamar Stephen was placed on injured reserve, said he is still learning Mike Zimmer’s defensive system.

“It’s just trying to get Coach Zimmer’s scheme. It’s not a simple system to pick up. I’ve just been working real hard, trying to understand language, vocabulary and just trying to get in the system as best as I can,” Ellis said Friday.

“I’m still learning. I swear I learn something new every day. Honestly, it takes time – years – to learn that system, to perfect it.”

Zimmer said Ellis is coming along in his system.

“He’s a big, physical guy, has got some athletic abilities. It took him a little while to get the techniques of what we try to do from where he was, but he’s doing good,” Zimmer said of Ellis before he was asked to compare Ellis and Joseph.

“They’re different guys. Linval is more powerful probably, but he’s a big guy, too.”

The good news at Friday’s practice was that defensive end Everson Griffen and running back Adrian Peterson returned to full participation and are listed as probable. Peterson didn’t practice on Wednesday and Thursday with ankle and shoulder injuries but sounded like his availability for Sunday night wasn’t in question on Thursday after practice.

Griffen was limited on Wednesday and didn’t practice on Thursday with a shoulder injury before becoming a full participant on Friday.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Player # Pos. Injury 30-Dec 31-Dec 1-Jan
Adrian Peterson 28 RB Ankle/ Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Full Part.
Shoulder
Linval Joseph 98 DT Foot Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Did Not Part.
Matt Kalil 75 T Lower Leg Limited Part. Full Part. Full Part.
Harrison Smith 22 S Hamstring Limited Part. Limited Part. Full Part.
Everson Griffen 97 DE Shoulder Limited Part. Did Not Part. Full Part.
Sharrif Floyd 73 DT Knee Limited Part. Limited Part. Did Not Part.
Anthony Harris 41 S Hip Full Part. Full Part. Full Part.
Adam Thielen 19 WR Low Back Full Part. Full Part. Full Part.

Friday Injury Report
Out-
Doubtful-Joseph
Questionable-
Probable-All others

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Player # Pos. Injury 30-Dec 31-Dec 1-Jan
David Bakhtiari 69 T Ankle Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Limited Part.
Mike Daniels 76 DT Ankle Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Limited Part.
Jayrone Elliott 91 LB Quadricep Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Did Not Part.
Mike Neal 96 LB Hip Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Limited Part.
Justin Perillo 80 TE Hamstring Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Did Not Part.
B.J. Raji 90 DT Concussion Did Not Part. Limited Part. Limited Part.
Bryan Bulaga 75 T Ankle Limited Part. Limited Part. Limited Part.
Letroy Guion 98 DT Foot Limited Part. Limited Part. Limited Part.
Casey Hayward 29 CB Ankle Limited Part. Full Part. Full Part.
Eddie Lacy 27 RB Rib Limited Part. Limited Part. Limited Part.
T.J. Lang 70 G Shoulder Limited Part. Limited Part. Limited Part.
Corey Linsley 63 C Ankle Limited Part. Limited Part. Limited Part.
Sam Shields 37 CB Concussion Limited Part. Limited Part. Limited Part.
Josh Sitton 71 G Back Limited Part. Limited Part. Limited Part.
Clay Matthews 52 LB Ankle Full Part. Full Part. Full Part.
Nick Perry 53 LB Shoulder Full Part. Limited Part. Limited Part.

Friday Injury Report
Out-Elliot, Perillo
Doubtful-
Questionable-Bakhtiari, Daniels, Neal, Raji, Shields
Probable-All others


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