Vikings First Week 4 Injury Report Is Bittersweet

Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (7) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

In four days, the Minnesota Vikings will hope to reinvigorate a 2023 season that has started with a grimace. Well, three grimaces.

Minnesota has lost games out of the gate to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Los Angeles Chargers, casting any visions of the postseason into grave jeopardy.

Vikings First Week 4 Injury Report Is Bittersweet

And to accompany the must-win showdown against the Carolina Panthers this weekend, the Vikings revealed a bittersweet injury report on Wednesday.

Week 4 Injury
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.

In short, center Garrett Bradbury returned to practice, as the veteran lineman has missed most of the regular season to date. But outside linebacker Marcus Davenport didn’t practice, nor did defensive backs Byron Murphy and Josh Metellus.

Here are the limited-practice personalities:

  • Garrett Bradbury (C, Back)
  • Patrick Jones (OLB, Knee)

And the men who did not practice:

  • Marcus Davenport (OLB, Ankle)
  • Josh Metellus (S, Shoulder)
  • Byron Murphy (CB, Hip)
  • Harrison Phillips (DL, Rest)
  • Harrison Smith (S, Rest)
Contribution from Free
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.

The Harrisons, Phillips and Smith, did not get on the field because of a rest day and should not be considered as a risk or maybe to play Sunday. Both should be good to go versus the Panthers.

The others, though, should cause some heartburn. Davenport has only played a handful of snaps since joining the Vikings last offseason, and the team desperately needs help on the edges of its defensive line. Davenport not practicing Wednesday is not a good omen for Week 4.

Sep 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (14) holds the ball as Minnesota Vikings safety Camryn Bynum (24) and cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (7) make the tackle during the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

On Murphy and Metellus, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert tweeted on the X app, “CB Byron Murphy (hip) and S Josh Metellus (shoulder) won’t practice today, but O’Connell said hope is they’ll progress to being ready to play.”

Regarding talent, Murphy and Metellus are two bright spots in a secondary torn apart by Justin Herbert and the Chargers last weekend. Facing Bryce Young or Andy Dalton this Sunday won’t be as daunting, but Minnesota will probably need one or both of Murphy and Metellus to tame Adam Thielen and his pals.

The Vikings Have a Brand
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings safety Josh Metellus (44) during the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

Like Minnesota, Carolina is 0-3 and seeking its first win of the season, possessing desperation stakes in the NFC South. Notable Panthers players DJ Chark (WR), Frankie Luvu (LB), and Xavier Woods (S) did not practice Wednesday, creating uncertainty about their gameday status for Week 4.

The aforementioned Young, a quarterback selected first overall in the draft last April, did return to practice, a signal he’ll be ready for the Vikings.

The Vikings have won four of their last five meetings with the Panthers.

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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