Vikings offensive, defensive lines hit hard by injuries
NOV 06, 2013 12:25p ET
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The official designations are in and the results aren’t pretty for the Minnesota Vikings.
Following a typical day-before-game walk-through practice on Wednesday, Minnesota announced starters Phil Loadholt, Kyle Rudolph, Jamarca Sanford and Chris Cook wouldn’t be available to play Thursday night when the Vikings (1-7) host the Washington Redskins (3-5).
Loadholt (concussion) and Rudolph (broken foot) had already been ruled out, but Minnesota also declared Sanford (groin), Cook (hip), Fred Evans (knee) and Matt Asiata (shoulder) out on Wednesday. Starting defensive tackle Letroy Guion (chest, knee) and starting left guard Charlie Johnson (elbow) are also listed as doubtful, which means they have a 25-percent chance of playing. None of them practiced Wednesday.
J’Marcus Webb will start at right tackle for Loadholt. If Johnson isn’t able to play, Joe Berger would likely start at left guard, leaving Minnesota without two offensive starters on an offensive line that has had the same five starters play the last 24 games together.
“Phil is a vital part of our offensive line, one of our top players,” Coach Leslie Frazier said Tuesday. “Very good right tackle for us. But that’s one of the reasons we signed J’Marcus; gives him a great opportunity. He’ll go in and he’ll play well, he’s familiar with our system now. It’s a great opportunity for him.”
John Carlson will start for Rudolph, who is out four to six weeks after fracturing his foot in Sunday’s game. Rhett Ellison, the third-string tight end who has missed the past two games, is listed as questionable with an ankle injury. He was held out of practice this week.
“We’re going to miss Kyle,” Carlson said. “He’s a tremendous asset to our offense and to our team, but Chase (Ford) and I are going to do the best we can to fill in and help the team get a win.”
The news isn’t any better along the defense.
Already without starting safety Harrison Smith, the Vikings will use Andrew Sendejo, Mistral Raymond and Robert Blanton at safety without Sanford. Sendejo and Raymond started last week with Sanford out and Blanton rotated in.
Cook will miss his third game of the season and will have played 28 of a possible 57 games in his four-year NFL career after Thursday. Rookie Xavier Rhodes is listed as probable with a shoulder injury and is also dealing with a knee problem. He’ll likely start opposite Josh Robinson at cornerback. Robinson is listed as probable with a chest injury.
Linebacker Chad Greenway (wrist) practiced fully all week and is probable.
Washington had six players listed on the injury report, but all were full participants the past two days. Only running back Chris Thompson (shoulder, questionable) is less than probable.
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