The Minnesota Vikings will try to patch it together on defense with one starter returning and another out.
After missing nearly two full games, safety Andrew Sendejo is back in the Minnesota Vikings’ starting lineup, but the team will be missing two other starters Sunday against the Detroit Lions.
Sendejo was lost six snaps into the Philadelphia Eagles game when he suffered a sprained ankle while returning an interception. He didn’t play last week against the Chicago Bears, with Jayron Kearse replacing him in both games before he was pulled in favor of Anthony Harris last week after Kearse was out of position on a 69-yard Jordan Howard run.
While Sendejo’s return should help the defense, the Vikings will be playing without middle linebacker Eric Kendricks, who suffered an undetected concussion in the Bears game. Audie Cole will start for Kendricks in the base defense and Chad Greenway is expected take Kendricks’ role in the nickel defense.
The Vikings will also be missing starting left guard Alex Boone, who also suffered a concussion on Monday night against the Bears. Jeremiah Sirles, who has played three different spots on the offensive line already this season as injuries have pile up there, will replace Boone against the Lions. But the offense will at least get RB Jerick McKinnon back in the lineup after missing the last game with an ankle injury.
The Vikings continue to be without DT Sharrif Floyd (knee) and OL Zac Kerin, further depleting the depth on the offensive line, leaving largely untested players Nick Easton and Willie Beavers as the backups.
The Lions will also be without a few starters – LB DeAndre Levy (knee/quad) was ruled out on Friday, and RT Riley Reiff (illness) and CB Darius Slaywon’t play either.
Lions inactives: Levy, Reiff, CB Darius Slay, RB Justin Forsett, TE Khari Lee, OL Joe Dahl and CB Adarius Barnes.