The Detroit Lions’ Week 13 opponent, the Minnesota Vikings declared their injury designations and have ruled out starting running back Dalvin Cook, starting left tackle rookie Christian Darrisaw, and reserve safety Camryn Bynum.
Let’s take a look at the Vikings’ injury designations and COVID-19 list for this week, with the starters bolded.
- DT Dalvin Tomlinson - Returned to the active roster on Thursday
- CB Patrick Peterson
Tomlinson was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list just over 10 days ago and missed last week’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. On Thursday, the Vikings activated him and placed him on the 53-man roster, but after not practicing for two weeks, how much he will be involved is still in question.
On Monday, the Vikings announced they placed Peterson on the COVID-19 list. Peterson is vaccinated and therefore could have a relatively short window of time to sit out. That means he also has a chance to return to this weekend’s game as long as he is symptom-free and clears the proper testing.
On Friday, coach Mike Zimmer said that Peterson is “close” and “maybe” will against the Lions.
- RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder)
- LT Christian Darrisaw (ankle)
- S Camryn Bynum (ankle)
Earlier in the week, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that an MRI revealed that Cook “tore his labrum while dislocating his shoulder” last Sunday and will miss “a few games” but the injury was not “season-ending”.
Cook will be replaced by Alexander Mattison, who was also the primary back in Week 5, the last time they faced the Lions. In that game, Mattison ran the ball 25 times for 113 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry—well above his 3.6 ypc average for the season.
Darrisaw, who missed the first month of the season with a groin injury, is now dealing with an ankle injury that he suffered last Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. Rashod Hill took over at left tackle during the first month of the season, and once again, last week when Darrisaw was injured. Hill had a decent game in Week 12, but the first month of the season he had below-average performances, allowing three sacks and 20 pressures, resulting in a 42.2 overall season grade from PFF.
Bynum has been the Vikings' third safety most of the season, but his improved play was earning him more playing time before injuring his ankle. He missed last week’s game and was replaced by former Michigan Wolverine Josh Metellus, though the position was heavily scaled back. Expect more of the same this week.
- LB Anthony Barr (knee, hamstring)
- LB Eric Kendricks (biceps)
- NB Mackenzie Alexander (ribs)
After missing practice earlier in the week, Barr returned to practice on Friday and is listed as questionable for this Sunday. Earlier in the week, Zimmer said he was “hopeful” Barr will be able to play against the Lions and it appears hope is still alive.
Kendricks appears to be closer to playing than Barr, though it’s worth noting he did miss Thursday’s practice because of his biceps injury but also returned to practice on Friday.
UPDATE: Kendricks has been downgraded to OUT, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero
The #Vikings activated DT Michael Pierce from injured reserve and downgraded LB Eric Kendricks to out for Sunday's game against the #Lions.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 4, 2021
Alexander, the Vikings nickel corner, was limited all week, and he appears ready to resume his role.
No injury designation
- DT Armon Watts (knee)
- DT Sheldon Richardson (knee)
- LB Nick Vigil (ribs)
- LB Ryan Connelly (quadriceps)
- CB Bashaud Breeland (groin)
With Peterson still not cleared from the reserve/COVID-19 list, and Mackenzie nursing a rib injury, the Vikings are hoping Breeland’s groin injury won't limit him versus the Lions. If either he or Peterson can’t play, expect the Vikings to turn to Cameron Dantzler to fill a starring role.
Starters Watts and Virgil saw full practices this week and should be ready to go on Sunday. Richardson and Connelly each saw at least one limited practice, but with no injury designation, they should be able to return to their reserve roles.
Of note: Zimmer also mentioned on Friday that starting nose tackle Michael Pierce (elbow) will likely be activated off injured reserve, and it’s possible he splits the role with Watts, who had been filling in with the starters.
You can view the Lions’ final injury report here.