Injuries Rapidly Catching Up with Vikings

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Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Marcus Davenport addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Davenport joined the Vikings in March of 2023 after four seasons with the New Orleans Saints.

After a relatively healthy summer, the Minnesota Vikings are paying the piper, to an extent, early in the regular season.

As of Thursday evening, the Vikings have five players on injured reserve, five men on the Week 3 injury report, and two on the non-football-injury list.

Injuries Rapidly Catching Up with Vikings

And while the Vikings injuries aren’t unique or utterly grim — the New York Jets lost Aaron Rodgers for the year, Nick Chubb will be absent from the Cleveland Browns roster, and Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs tore his ACL on Thursday — the injury bug is accelerating.

Injuries Rapidly Catching
Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Minnesota Vikings center Garrett Bradbury (56) on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

Foremost, these men are on the Vikings Week 3 depth chart, three days before a do-or-die showdown with the desperate 0-2 Los Angeles Chargers:

  • Christian Darrisaw (Ankle, Limited in Practice)
  • Jordan Hicks (Shin, Limited in Practice)
  • Josh Metellus (Shoulder, Limited in Practice)
  • Garrett Bradbury (Back, Limited in Practice)
  • Marcus Davenport (Ankle, No Practice)
OL Ranking for 2023
Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw (71) prepares to block against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

The Darrisaw + Bradbury injuries are particularly concerning, as Minnesota’s offensive line needs all the help it can get in keeping Kirk Cousins upright. The club must also improve its run-blocking prowess, a daunting assignment if Darrisaw and Bradbury don’t play this weekend.

Too, pass rusher Marcus Davenport was signed in March to serve as a bookend on the defensive line to Danielle Hunter, and the ex-New Orleans Saint has played a total of four defensive snaps in two games — not ideal.

Jan 1, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jalen Nailor (83) rushes for a touchdown as Green Bay Packers cornerback Corey Ballentine (35) defends during the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

Meanwhile, the Vikings are missing these players on injured reserve:

  • William Kwenkeu (ILB)
  • James Lynch (DT)
  • Jalen Nailor (WR)
  • Kene Nwangwu (RB)
  • Oli Udoh (OT)

And Nailor + Udoh hit injured reserve this week, two fresh blows for a team hoping to rectify a winless start.

Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Olisaemeka Udoh (74) is injured against the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

Finally, these two players live on the Vikings non-football-injury list, with no timetable for return:

  • Malik Knowles (WR)
  • Chris Reed (OG)

Reed, in particular, could be useful in aiding to get the offensive line in a comfortable spot. In the meantime, Minnesota added a different guard this week, free-agent Dalton Risner.

The Vikings opponent on Sunday, the Chargers, has eight players on the injured report, including Austin Ekeler (RB), Joey Bosa (OLB), Khalil Mack (OLB), Eric Kendricks (ILB), and Mike Williams (WR).

Minnesota is favored by a point to topple Los Angeles this weekend. The Chargers have lost their last three matchups to the Vikings, the most recent time being in 2021 in Los Angeles. Sunday will also mark the Chargers first regular season trip ever to U.S. Bank Stadium.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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