Unlike the Denver Broncos and New York Jets, examples of two teams rocked by training camp and preseason injuries, the Minnesota Vikings have experienced relatively good luck with players’ health with almost four weeks of training camp in the books.
On Thursday, though, the team revealed a handful of new injuries, albeit minor and affecting reservist personnel.
Head coach Kevin O’Connell elaborated on the injuries affecting Ty Chandler (RB), Chris Reed (G/C), and Parry Nickerson (CB).
Meanwhile, tight Irv Smith is still officially out after thumb surgery two weeks ago, but O’Connell also explained the Vikings expect him ready for Week 1 versus the Green Bay Packers.
Chandler (ankle), a rookie running back from North Carolina, may be the most interesting injury on the list, mainly because of his breakout performance last weekend in Las Vegas. The Vikings lost to the Raiders in the preseason opener while Chandler dazzled individually. The rookie tailback gouged the Raiders for 50 rushing yards on five carries and returned a kick for 56 yards. Chandler’s impressive debut all but confirmed a roster spot for the 24-year-old, casting the futures of Alexander Mattison and C.J. Ham into doubt.
Reed’s minor elbow injury is also noteworthy because he could be the “next man up” at center if incumbent starter Garrett Bradbury struggles in the next month. The Vikings signed Reed in March as a free agent guard but appear to have plans at center for the ex-Indianapolis Colt. Reed has taken second-team center snaps at training camp. Otherwise, Reed is formally listed as a backup left guard to Ezra Cleveland.
And the final injury is low on the totem pole for impact. Nickerson (leg) is likely trending toward a practice-squad assignment or free agency at the end of the month, evidenced by his CB7-territory listing on the team’s unofficial depth chart. Nickerson also orchestrated a forgettable outing against the Raiders.
Overall, all three men are vying for roster positioning and need preseason action to make their cases — especially Nickerson, who will fight to make the 53-man cut.
The Vikings host the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday for the second preseason game of the year and the only one at U.S. Bank Stadium.
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 Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).