Taking Stock of the Vikings Injury Situation Out of the Bye

Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn (USA Today Sports)

Wednesday the Minnesota Vikings will release their first injury report in 12 days as they get back into their normal practice routine out of the Week 10 bye.

It will be the first indication of which players could return after a week of rest. The Vikings were missing two starters on offense and defense when they last played against the Detroit Lions.

“Most of those guys, I’m hopeful that they’re all back,” head coach Mike Zimmer said before the bye.

Linebacker Anthony Barr missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, while safety Andrew Sendejo missed the last four games with an injured groin. Sendejo practiced in limited fashion before the Lions game and could be in line to reclaim his starting spot from Anthony Harris, who has been the third highest rated safety in football since replacing Sendejo, per Pro Football Focus. Barr’s status is more unclear after he didn’t practice for two consecutive weeks as Eric Wilson filled in.

“Young guys have stepped up all season,” Barr said in Week 9. “From the time they’ve got here they’ve focused in, tried to hone in on what we teach, and they’ve done a good job applying it.”

Offensively, left guard Tom Compton (knee) and receiver Stefon Diggs (ribs) were the holdouts before the bye. Compton was injured against the Jets in Week 7, while Diggs suffered his injury in Week 8 against the Saints. Diggs was given a questionable designation against the Lions and appeared closer to playing than Compton, who hasn’t practiced since going down.

Compton’s replacement, Danny Isidora, allowed eight pressures in his two weeks as starter, fifth-most in the NFL, prompting Zimmer to say the second-year guard had some techniques to improve. Meanwhile, Chad Beebe was elevated to the active roster to fill in for Diggs and caught three passes in his debut.

“[He] created separation in tight man coverage,” said quarterback Kirk Cousins after the game, “and I think he’s a great asset for us as we look to the second half of the season.”

The bye also gave an extra week to players who might have been battling through myriad aches and pains. Dalvin Cook is still getting back to 100 percent after his lingering hamstring injury, Xavier Rhodes was nearly scratched from the Lions game with a foot injury and Linval Joseph was still recovering from ankle and knee maladies leading up to the bye.

There hasn’t been any definitive word on tight end David Morgan, who injured his knee against the Lions. KSTP‘s Darren Wolfson tweeted that Morgan may miss time but avoided a serious injury upon examination. That would likely elevate rookie Tyler Conklin into Morgan’s role as the primary blocking tight end.

But compared to where the Vikings were a month ago with a half-dozen starters out, their health situation is improving in the most crucial part of the season. The late bye seemingly came at a perfect time.

“You get to get your body back and your mind away from football for a couple of days and regenerate the body,” said receiver Adam Thielen about the bye. “You get worn down at this point in the season, and the same stuff over and over, your body gets tired. It’s pivotal, and it’s a great time for us.”

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