Vikings Star Returns on Sunday
Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers will be virtually a playoff game for the Minnesota Vikings after starting the season 0-2. In fact, both teams were defeated in their first two contests, and going 0-3 would be a disaster for either of the two playoff-hopeful teams. Minnesota was without some key players in Week 2, but one of them is ready to return.
Vikings Star Returns on Sunday
The Chargers employ a scary edge rushing duo. Joey Bosa has been every bit as good as advertised when he came out in 2016, and the Chargers hoped for when they took him third overall. Last season, the Bears traded star pass rusher Khalil Mack to the Chargers. He was a problem for the Vikings in the past.
To combat that duo, the Vikings need their offensive line in place, although Garrett Bradbury and Christian Darrisaw missed last week’s contest against the Eagles. Bradbury returned to practice on Thursday on a limited basis and is listed as questionable while Darrisaw was a limited participant on both Wednesday and Thursday but was not listed on the final injury report.
The third-year blindside protector suffered an ankle injury in Week 1 and left the game a couple of times. He was a true game-time decision in Week 2, and the Vikings activated him for the game after trying him out, but he didn’t play because he re-aggravated his injury in warmups.
Oli Udoh took the field in his place and suffered a season-ending quad injury, leaving David Quessenberry as the next man up, but quarterback Kirk Cousins would certainly be happier with Darrisaw protecting him from Bosa. The good news is that the top lineman is good to go for the crucial contest.
KSTP’s Darren Wolfson asked him about the status of his ankle injury on Thursday: “Everything is going well, as planned. Right now it looks like we’re on track to play Sunday.”
That is fantastic news. Darrisaw continued to say that he is focusing on little things to get better with his ankle and that he takes it one day at a time. Even when he’s not at full strength, having Darrisaw is a huge boost for the Vikings, a team that needs his pass protection to ensure the explosive passing attack and his power in the running game.
The Vikes also added free agent Dalton Risner, who could be taking over as a starting guard sooner rather than later, although neither the coaches nor the player wanted to talk about his role with the team.
Another important injured player on the team is Marcus Davenport. He was a free-agent addition, costing the team $13 million for one season. Davenport was supposed to be the Robin to Danielle Hunter’s Batman, but that hasn’t happened yet. A player who has never played in every game in his five-year career came to the Vikings to change that but missed Week 1. In Week 2, he played in four snaps and called it a day.
He is out on Sunday, and it will be some extra work for D.J. Wonnum and Patrick Jones, the backup edge rushers. Both of those guys struggle against the run, something Davenport excels in, and it cost the Vikings against the Eagles. His ankle injury is nagging, and defensive coordinator Brian Flores would like to get him back sooner rather than later.
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