The Vikings on Wednesday released their final injury report for Thursday’s Week 4 game at Los Angeles. Minnesota will head into the primetime showdown against the Rams with a couple of injury-related question marks.
With the events of this past weekend made public, there’s no surprise whatsoever that defensive end Everson Griffen will miss the game. He was given a knee/not injury related designation on the injury report.
Cornerback/punt returner Marcus Sherels will miss his second straight game with a rib injury. His absence was felt last Sunday after rookie Mike Hughes muffed a punt. The Vikings recovered the fumble but the team could use some peace of mind after turning the ball over three times against the Bills.
Elflein to start
Mike Zimmer said during his Tuesday press conference that center Pat Elflein will make his first start of the season Thursday night. Elflein missed the first two games while rehabbing his ankle and shoulder but played this past weekend as a sub against the Bills.
According to Pro Football Focus the 22 year-old lineman played 22 snaps Sunday. He earned a 52.2 grade which is considered below average in the PFF rating system. But then again, it was his first game action of the year. It’s unclear if Brett Jones, who started at center during Elflein’s absence, will move to guard or become the top interior line backup.
Cook/Reiff could be game-time decisions
Here’s where things get interesting. Running back Dalvin Cook (hamstring) is listed as questionable. He was listed as a non-participant for Monday’s (non)practice, but practiced in limited fashion on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Cook will likely see how his hamstring is feeling during pregame warm-ups before making a decision on whether or not to give it a go. Latavius Murray would get the start if Cook is unable to play.
Starting left tackle Riley Reiff showed up on the injury report this week with a foot injury. He did not practice all week but is still listed as questionable for Thursday’s game. Like Cook, he’ll likely test his foot before the game. The Vikings will need to do some major shuffling to the offensive line if Reiff is unable to play.
Safety Anthony Harris (hamstring) and defensive tackle Tom Johnson (ankle) are also listed as questionable.
Ready to play
Tackle Rashod Hill (foot), tight end David Morgan (knee), and cornerbacks Holton Hill (ankle) and Trae Waynes (ankle) were full participants in practice Wednesday. They are all expected to play.
Rams injury report
- INJURED RESERVE – CB Aqib Talib (ankle)
- OUT – K Greg Zuerlein (groin), WR JoJo Natson (hand)
- DOUBTFUL – LB Mark Barron (ankle)
- QUESTIONABLE – LB Dominique Easley (knee), CB Marcus Peters (calf)
Losing Talib is a major loss for Los Angeles. As a result of Peters being a game-time decision, Sam Shields and Nickell Robey-Coleman may become the starting CB’s for LA. That’s a matchup the Vikings offense could take advantage of.
WIth Zuerlein out, the Rams kicker will be Sam Ficken. Ficken went 0-for-1 last week but made all five of his extra point attempts.