The Minnesota Vikings are getting healthy just in time for the final stretch of the season. With three games remaining to secure their playoff positioning, they’ll need all the help they can get, especially in the secondary.
According to the team’s official website, Justin Trattou has been signed to the active roster and safety Shaun Prater, who was signed last week, has been waived. His release should register as a good sign for the collective health of Minnesota’s safeties, including starters Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo. Both players were inactive against the Arizona Cardinals last Thursday and were sorely missed; Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer threw two touchdowns of 40-plus yards against the Vikings.
On Friday, head coach Mike Zimmer spoke to the media and shared some positive news regarding four injured starters, from linebacker Anthony Barr (groin) to defensive tackle Linval Joseph (foot). He noted that Sendejo is his “best guess” to return to the field first:
“I got a pretty good report this morning that they’re all moving in the right direction.”
Players are set to return to the practice field Tuesday to begin preparation for their Week 15 matchup with the Chicago Bears. The Vikings beat the Bears 23-20 at Soldier Field earlier in the season and will host them at TCF Bank Stadium this Sunday. Trattou, who was active for the first two games of the season, adds depth to Mike Zimmer’s varied defensive line, which will hopefully get after Jay Cutler this week.
If Smith and Sendejo do start against Chicago, rookie safety Anthony Harris will likely be inactive. Terence Newman, who played safety as a last resort in Arizona on Thursday, would roll back to his natural position at cornerback. He was replaced by Trae Waynes, the rookie cornerback out of Michigan State. Waynes played well in his first career start and may have earned more playing time later in the season.