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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Frazier ‘hopeful’ that Bishop, Smith and Rhodes aren’t out long time

MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Vikings won’t be able to leave the 35-10 defeat to the Carolina Panthers completely behind, as defensive players Harrison Smith, Desmond Bishop and Xavier Rhodes all suffered injuries that removed them from the game on Sunday.

Coach Leslie Frazier said Smith is dealing with a turf toe injury, Bishop has a knee sprain and Rhodes sprained his ankle – each player will have a MRI procedure to determine the severity of their injuries.

“Hopefully we don’t lose those guys for an extended period of time,” Frazier said.

Bishop started at weak-side linebacker for the first time this season, which was also his first start in the NFL since the 2011 season. However, he went down in the first quarter after spraining his knee and did not return.

Rhodes came up limp after defending a deep ball that fell incomplete in the second quarter. He was looked at by trainers on the sidelines and returned in the second half, but ultimately left the game in the fourth quarter for good.

Smith left in the second half as well after hurting his foot deep into another Panthers drive. The Panthers finished with a 36:27-of-60:00 edge in time of possession.

The Vikings just had safety Jamarca Sanford and cornerback Chris Cook return to the lineup from injuries on Sunday only to have three more defensive players exit with new issues.

After allowing 367 yards on Sunday, the defense has given up at least 350 yards and 27 points in every game this season. No matter who starts at quarterback, those are tough numbers for an offense to consistently try to overcome.

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