Notebook: Minnesota Vikings injury report, QB situation

The Minnesota Vikings are trying their best to keep their starting quarterback a secret, but the bigger concern could be injuries to three starters, especially protecting the quarterback’s blind side.

With a quarterback situation that Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is trying to hold “close to the vest” until Sunday night, the bigger issue could be the protection provided to Sam Bradford or Shaun Hill.

Left tackle Matt Kalil missed Wednesday and Thursday’s practices with a hip injury but was back on Friday, first practicing on a limited basis and then quickly heading for treatment on the hip. He is officially listed as questionable

With a Green Bay defense that sends pressure with linebackers, especially Clay Matthews, communication on the offensive line will have to be on task.

“They do a good job with their pressures. They bring the safeties a lot, the linebackers a lot obviously,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said of the Packers. “They give you a lot of looks, a lot of combinations off their pressures. It’s identification and communication both.”

Last year, the Vikings struggled to consistently pick up blitzes and stunts, with Zimmer saying a primary focus of the offseason was to “fix” the offensive line. He hired a new offensive line coach, Tony Sparano, brought in left guard Alex Boone and right tackle Andre Smith in free agency and released former starting center John Sullivan in favor or Joe Berger.

In the season opener, the Tennessee Titans tried to bring the pressure on 13 of Hill’s 33 passes, but he wasn’t sacked once, completing 6 of 13 passes when facing a five-, six- or seven-man blitz. In addition, the Titans tried stunts (twists) with their defensive linemen, too, but Zimmer said the Vikings were much improved in that area.

“Each week is different. I think there was – what did they tell me? – 20 different twist games last week and we were effective in like 87 percent or something like that on them,” Zimmer said. “That’s obviously a lot better than it was.”

If Kalil can’t play on Sunday, it would be T.J. Clemmings – last year’s fill-in right tackle – taking his place.

Beyond Kalil, two other starters will be out – CB Xavier Rhodes and DT Sharrif Floyd, both with knee injuries.

Rhodes hurt his knee last Sunday morning before the season opener and has been wearing a brace. Floyd is still dealing with a knee issue that seems to have reemerged from last year, prompting Zimmer to say that “he’s used to it” and “I guess some guys just get hurt.”

“I’ve got to get healthy. He’s used to it. He hears it every week so it’s about time to stop hearing that,” Floyd said.

“The old nagging injuries, they come and go. You’ve just got to fight through it. Some things you can’t fight through.”

Floyd played only 25 snaps on Sunday, second-least of the defensive linemen that got in the game. Shamar Stephen had 22 snaps, Tom Johnson 29, and Linval Joseph 40.

“We actually had a three-man rotation in there with Shamar Stephen and Linval and Tom Johnson, so we’ll continue to do that,” Zimmer said.

As for the starting quarterback, Zimmer said Bradford could start but left open the possibility of Hill starting, too.

“I don’t know exactly. He comes in early in the morning, stays pretty late,” Zimmer said. “He’s worked enough to get ready.”


Player # Pos. Injury 14-Sep 15-Sep 16-Sep
Sharrif Floyd 73 DT Knee Did Not Part. Did Not Part. Did Not Part.
Xavier Rhodes 29 CB Knee Did Not Part  Did Not Part.  Did Not Part.
MyCole Pruitt 83 TE Knee Did Not Part.  Did Not Part.  Did Not Part.
Matt Kalil 75 T Hip Did Not Part.  Did Not Part.  Limited Part.
Nick Easton 62 C Ankle Limited Part.  Limited Part. Full Part.
Jerick McKinnon 21 RB Foot/Lower Leg Limited Part.  Full Part. Full Part.
Eric Kendricks 54 LB Ankle Full Part.  Full Part. Full Part.
Kyle Rudolph 82 TE Knee Full Part.  Full Part.  Full Part.
Adrian Peterson 28 RB Ankle Full Part.  Full Part.  Full Part.
Charles Johnson 12 WR Quadriceps Full Part.  Full Part.  Full Part.
Rhett Ellison 85 TE Knee Full Part.  Full Part.  Full Part.

Friday Injury Report

Out- Rhodes, Pruitt, Floyd


Questionable- Kalil



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