Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Anthony Barr

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Each year, Thanksgiving provides us the opportunity to come together and reflect on what we’re most thankful for. Personally, I’m grateful for my family, my friends, and my health, among many other wonderful things. But this is Vikings Territory, and we’re here to talk Minnesota Vikings football. Forget the turkey, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, and the green bean casserole, no matter how delicious they may be — we’re focusing on our favorite players in purple and gold.

This season, the Vikings are 7-3 thanks in large part to the collective efforts of the 53-man roster. Players like Brandon Watts and Scott Crichton have stepped up in the face of injury, while household names like Adrian Peterson and Harrison Smith continue to serve as the mainstays on offense and defense. And while we’re thankful for them all, a few rise to the top of the list.

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TMatt KalilToe DNPDNPLPQuestionable
DTTom JohnsonConcussionLPFPFPProbable
WRAdam ThielenShoulder FPFPFPProbable
RBMatt AsiataQuadricepsLPLPFPProbable
RBAdrian PetersonHamstringLPFPFPProbable
DTSharrif FloydKnee/AnkleLPFPFPProbable
LBAnthony BarrHand/KneeLPFPFPProbable
CBMarcus SherelsShoulder FPFPFPProbable
DEJustin TrattouFootFPFPFPProbable
QBTeddy BridgewaterLeft ShoulderFPFPFPProbable
LBEric KendricksRibsFPFPFPProbable
SRobert BlantonBackLPQuestionable

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Since Mike Zimmer’s arrival in Minnesota, the Vikings haven’t unlocked the door to beating Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The door slammed in their faces last October, when Christian Ponder and Mike Zimmer’s young team lost 42-10 to the Packers in embarrassing fashion at Lambeau Field. It creaked open later in the year, when Teddy Bridgewater returned to the lineup and nearly beat Green Bay at home, 21-24.

Now, the key is in the Vikings’ hands, and they’re standing at the door ready to turn the handle. Sitting alone in first place and a game ahead of Green Bay, Sunday’s Week 11 matchup could be Minnesota’s greatest opportunity to win the NFC North since their historic 2009 season. To do that, though, they must stop Aaron Rodgers.

Linval Joseph spoke to reporters on Tuesday and expressed confidence as the team prepares for their toughest test yet. “He’s a very good quarterback, elite quarterback and in this league, you want to play against the best,” he said. On Sunday, Joseph will have the chance to sack Rodgers and lead the Vikings to a win. But against a quarterback like No. 12, it’ll take more than just sacks to pull out a victory. They’ll need Mike Zimmer’s best blitz packages, solid play from every cornerback, and a disciplined, yet aggressive pass rush for their eighth win of the season.

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The image of Teddy Bridgewater motionless on the ground last week left many wondering if he’d miss today’s game against the Oakland Raiders. Fortunately for the Minnesota Vikings, Bridgewater passed the concussion protocol and will start in less than an hour. His play will be critical as the Vikings look to attack the league’s worst-ranked passing defense, which is allowing 314 yards passing per game.

Bridgewater is also joined by Anthony Barr, who’s been battling a hand injury he sustained against the Rams. He will, however, be missing his partner in crime, Eric Kendricks. The rookie linebacker is fighting through a painful rib injury and his scratch appears to be a precaution. Six other players are inactive, including:

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Vikings Injury Report
NamePositionInjuryWed.Thur.Fri. Status
Trattou, JustinDEFootLimitedLimitedLimitedOUT
Kendricks, EricLBRibsDNPDNPLimitedDoubtful
Barr, AnthonyLBLow BackDNPDNPLimitedQuestionable
Bridgewater, TeddyQB ConcussionLimitedFullFullQuestionable
Sherels, MarcusCBShoulderLimitedLimitedLimitedQuestionable
Floyd, SharrifDTKnee/AnkleLimitedLimitedFullProbable
Joseph, LinvalDTFootLimitedLimitedFullProbable
Newman, TerranceCBConcussionLimitedFullFullProbable
Patterson, CordarrelleWRShoulder________LimitedFullProbable
Robison, BrianDEAnkleFullFullFullProbable

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