Vikings Will Be Shorthanded on Thursday Night

A fan expresses their disgust to a controversial call made by the referee Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. © Jerry Habraken, The News Journal.

Need some solace about the Minnesota Vikings taking on one of the best defensive lines in football Thursday night?

You won’t find it here.

Vikings Will Be Shorthanded on Thursday Night

Minnesota will be without center Garrett Bradbury under the lights in Philadelphia, as Star Tribune’s Andrew Krammer tweeted Wednesday, “Center Garrett Bradbury (back) ruled OUT for Thursday night. Austin Schlottmann expected to start. LT Christian Darrisaw (ankle) and OLB Marcus Davenport (ankle) are listed questionable to play.”

Will Be Shorthanded
Jan 11, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings center Garrett Bradbury (56) and the offense line up against the San Francisco 49ers defense during the first half in the NFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Bradbury has struggled as a Viking, particularly with pass protection, in the past but turned his resume around in 2022 with head coach Kevin O’Connell in charge. Then, just a few plays into Week 1 on Sunday, Bradbury injured his back against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the same injury that kept him out of five games in 2022.

Bradbury’s backup, Austin Schlottmann, is expected to start versus the Eagles.

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.

The veteran lineman signed a three-year, $15.75 million extension in March after four years in Minnesota on a rookie contract. Whether Bradbury stayed or departed via free agency was an early-offseason storyline that resolved in March.

Bradbury’s tenure in Minnesota has been sour and sweet since joining the franchise four years ago. With 1st-Round draft stock, centers should be damn near legendary or at least eventually to the level of a Pro Bowl contributor. But it took Bradbury four years to settle in and finally get unlocked, a bit, by O’Connell and offensive line coach Chris Kuper.

the Vikings Last 5
Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Minnesota Vikings center Garrett Bradbury (56) on the sidelines during a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

Meanwhile, the Eagles employ a punishing interior defensive line, so Minnesota will hope Schlottmann can fill in admirably as he did against the Buccaneers, to an extent, three days ago.

On the left side of the line, Christian Darrisaw’s questionable status also causes heartburn. By his lofty standards, Darrisaw produced a meh outing versus Tampa Bay, tallying a 65.4 Pro Football Focus grade. His status for Thursday night is a coinflip.

Davenport, an outside linebacker, missed Week 1 with an ankle malady, and his prognosis for Thursday Night Football feels like a longshot. The Vikings will turn to D.J. Wonnum if Davenport can’t play, with a side dish of third-year pass rusher Patrick Jones II.

Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles cornerback James Bradberry (24) against the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

The Eagles will be without linebacker Nakobe Dean after an injured reserve placement this week. Running back Kenneth Gainwell, cornerback James Bradberry, and safety Reed Blankenship have been ruled out for Philadelphia. Defensive lineman Fletcher Cox is questionable.

Philadelphia is favored to defeat Minnesota by six points.

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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