As I mentioned earlier this week, injuries on both teams make Saturday night’s game between the Vikings and Packers a completely unique matchup compared to their previous two.
The Vikings special teams struggled last week with linebacker Tyrone McKenzie leaving due to a shoulder injury. He has been ruled out once again making the Vikings coverage team a point of interest in this one, especially since electric return man Randall Cobb (ankle) is probable to return to the field.
In fact, Cobb’s return means that the Packers talented group of receivers are now healthier than they have been all season long. Greg Jennings is at 100% now while Jordy Neson (knee) and Jermichael Finley (quadriceps) are both listed as probable.
The sudden health of Aaron Rodgers passing weapons unfortunately coincides with the Vikings secondary having some substantial health questions. Rodgers threw a pass in Antoine Winfield’s direction only once prior to Winfield leaving last week’s game with a broken hand that swelled up on him, and then proceeded to pick on his replacement, Marcus Sherels, 10 times in the remainder of the game.
Winfield is listed as questionable but has indicated he will be wearing a new cast on the hand and plans on playing through the pain. His injured teammates in the secondary are Harrison Smith (knee) and A.J. Jefferson (ankle) are both listed as probable, however.
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder was only able to prepare for his latest biggest career game on a limited basis this week due to an elbow injury in his throwing arm. Leslie Frazier indicated that Ponder is doing everything possible to get ready for this game, and it seems highly unlikely that anyone else gets the start, but one can’t help but wonder if Joe Webb might be making an appearance Saturday night.
Adrian Peterson (abdomen), Brian Robison (shoulder), Jared Allen (shoulder), George Johnson (quadriceps), Chris Kluwe (knee), and Phil Loadholt (knee) are all listed as probable.
Packers receiver Jarrett Boykin and defensive end Jerel Worthy have both been ruled out after suffering injuries last week. Running back James Starks (knee) is listed as questionable.
Cornerbacks Tramon Williams (illness) and Davon House (hip) are both considered probable. Also probable is Charles Woodson (collarbone) who is expected to give the Packers a boost in pass defense after missing considerable time.
The weather forecast for Green Bay is looking to be sub-freezing conditions and possible frozen precipitation. Considering the Packers passing prowess, and Adrian Peterson’s dominance on the ground, I say the nastier the weather is the better off the Vikings are.
After all, an ice pellet or two clinking off of Mason Crosby’s helmet might just be enough to…