Five Minnesota Vikings players missed Wednesday’s practice due to an anonymous illness listed on the team’s first injury report.
But tentatively, with the team traveling to Detroit for a date with the Lions in three days, the mini-crisis may be averted.
Andrew Krammer from the Star Tribune reported on Thursday that the Vikings players afflicted by the unspecified illness earlier in the week “are back today (Thursday) and should have time to be ready for Sunday.”
C.J. Ham (FB), Danielle Hunter (EDGE), Theo Jackson (S), Patrick Peterson (CB), and Harrison Smith (S) were listed on the injury report as non-participants because of the illness. Plus, defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard missed practice because of a bicep injury. All of the illness absences seemed to fall out of the sky, casting multiple prominent players’ statuses into doubt for Week 14.
But if defensive coordinator Ed Donatell was correct with the snippet to Krammer, the Vikings should be in good shape at Detroit, at least in terms of not missing oodles of notable players.
Detroit’s first injury report was also peppered with injuries, although the caliber of players wasn’t quite akin to Hunter, Peterson, and Smith for the Vikings. Oddly, the Lions, at 5-7 through Week 13, are favored to topple the Vikings by 2.5 points at Ford Field — a weird point spread because Minnesota has a 10-2 record, some five games better than Detroit.
Minnesota is trending to welcome back starting cornerback Cameron Dantzler, who was injured in Week 8 win at the Washington Commanders. The Vikings coaching staff has talked optimistically all week about getting Dantzler back on the field, and the club even designated him for return on Wednesday.
The illness and Dantzler news arrives as rookie cornerback Akayleb Evans hits Injured Reserve due to multiple concussions in a short timeframe. Evans will miss at least four games, likely eyeing a return for the postseason, if at all.
Left tackle Christian Darrisaw’s status against the Lions is unclear, as he, like Evans, is battling back-to-back concussions.
The Lions have lost nine of their last 10 matchups with the Vikings but did outlast Minnesota at Ford Field last season in a wild game. Minnesota and Detroit rank 31st and 32nd, respectively, in 2022 via yards allowed on defense to opponents.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).