With Sharrif Floyd out and just three healthy defensive tackles active, the Minnesota Vikings will need to find ways to generate pressure on Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Floyd has been a presence inside this season, stringing together strong back-to-back performances, with his best game coming against the Kansas City Chiefs last week. Veteran Tom Johnson, who finished 2014 with 6.5 sacks in a rotational role, will start in his place.
Floyd’s absence opened the door for Cordarrelle Patterson this week, as the Vikings will enter Sunday’s game with six active wide receivers. Stefon Diggs, who was named the Pepsi Rookie of the Week after a breakout game against the Chiefs in Week 6, will start in Charles Johnson’s place.
Below, a look at the rest of the Vikings’ inactives:
Today's #VikingsGameday inactives.
S. Diggs will start for C. Johnson
T. Johnson will start for S. Floyd pic.twitter.com/Faf3NYHtFY
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) October 25, 2015
A few notable names will play this week, including defensive end Everson Griffen and running back Adrian Peterson. Griffen was a late scratch against the Chiefs because of last-minute medical emergency, and Peterson’s status was in doubt until late last night as he fought through an undisclosed illness.
Kenrick Ellis, who was signed by the team earlier this week, is active and could see time rotating inside with Tom Johnson and Linval Joseph. Fortunately for the Vikings, the Lions are the worst rushing team in the league, with just 399 yards on the ground through six games.
If Mike Zimmer’s concerned about anything, it should be stopping Calvin Johnson, who caught 6 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown against the Chicago Bears last week. As they did in their Week 2 victory over the Lions, look for the Vikings to bring multiple A-Gap blitzes and pass rush packages to disrupt Matthew Stafford in the pocket.