Vikings Currently Have 11 Players on Injured Reserve

The Deadliest Aspect
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Injuries are part of sports, especially in football, but they are still extremely frustrating when they are as frequent as those of the Minnesota Vikings in 2023. 11 players are currently on injured reserve after ten games. Some are close to returning to the field, but it has already cost the team some valuable contributions.

Vikings Currently Have 11 Players on Injured Reserve

Vikings Currently Have 11 Players on Injured Reserve
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Of course, the big name on the list is Justin Jefferson. The star wide receiver was placed on IR after Week 5 against the Kansas City Chiefs and hasn’t played since then. Curiously, the Vikes have gone on a five-game winning streak without their best player. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs has worked his magic to steal the last two wins, but the organization needs the dynamic weapon back in the game in the long run to be a real playoff threat.

His return is imminent, and he could play as soon as Sunday. Currently, Jefferson is ramping up his workload in practices but has yet to log a full practice. The Vikings are nine days into his 21-day practice window. Without him, rookie Jordan Addison and tight end T.J. Hockenson have shared the roles as the primary targets in the passing game.

Another valuable player on IR is defender Marcus Davenport. He missed all but two full games and a few snaps in two more games. The Vikings expected him to be a difference-maker on the defensive front that lacks talent next to Danielle Hunter. Unlike Jefferson, his return isn’t close, as he had to undergo a procedure and is out indefinitely, although head coach Kevin O’Connell said he hopes to get him back at some point this season. D.J. Wonnum has stepped up in his absence.

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Linebacker Jordan Hicks also had to undergo a proactive procedure to prevent compartment syndrome, a dangerous condition, after suffering a shin contusion. His timeline is unclear at this point, but his earliest return is in Week 16 in the potentially crucial game against the Lions. Hicks has been a significant part of Brian Flores’ defense as he is the main communicator. Rookie Ivan Pace will replace him in that role.

Not returning from IR will Cam Akers and Kirk Cousins. The duo suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in back-to-back weeks, and both are out for the season. Cousins has played himself into MVP consideration and is still among the league leaders in various passing statistics despite missing the last nine quarters. Dobbs will try to keep the Vikings in the playoff race. Akers was acquired via trade early in the season, and his role had slowly grown before his injury. Sophomore Ty Chandler will have a larger workload without the veteran taking snaps.

What if a Kirk Cousins
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Cousins isn’t the only passer on IR. Backup Nick Mullens has been placed there after Week 5. He has returned to practice earlier this week after overcoming his back injury. Had he not landed on IR, there is a chance that the Vikings wouldn’t have traded for Dobbs and started him instead. How the QB hierarchy with Dobbs, Mullens, and Jaren Hall shakes out remains to be seen when all three are healthy.

After Week 2’s contest in Philadelphia, backup offensive lineman Oli Udoh was placed on IR with a torn quad tendon. The versatile veteran had been replacing Christian Darrisaw in the lineup when he got hurt. David Quessenberry has been the primary second-team left tackle without Udoh in the picture.

Vikings Week 17 Final Injury Report
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Before the season started, the Vikings lost three players–Malik Knowles, William Kwenkeu, and James Lynch. Rookie wideout Knowles was waived with an injury designation before training camp and reverted to IR because he survived waiver claims. Linebacker and special teamer Kwenkeu got hurt in the preseason, was waived, and reverted to IR. Lynch suffered a torn ACL in training camp. He was a serious candidate to make the roster and provide depth on the defensive line. All three are out for the season.

The hope is to get some players, especially Jefferson and Mullens, back as soon as possible while others are out for the season. In 2023, the Vikings have been more snakebitten by injuries than in recent years.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt