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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Extra rest ahead: Four injured defensive starters moving in ‘right direction,’ Zimmer says

By Derek Wetmore

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – The Vikings faced a daunting test Thursday night in the desert, tasked with slowing down a high-flying Cardinals offense despite missing several key players on defense.

Specifically, Minnesota was thinned out in the secondary, where it started undrafted Anthony Harris at safety next to cornerback Terence Newman, who slid back to allow rookie Trae Waynes a start at corner.

The bad news for the Vikings is that they lost the game. The good news for the Vikings is that they might soon get some of those important players back, considering they have 10 days off before their next contest, a home game against the Chicago Bears.

Andrew Sendejo might be ahead of the rest of the defensive starters who are expected to return to the field this year, and head coach Mike Zimmer got a positive report Friday morning on the others. Still, Zimmer said he doesn’t know yet if the four injured starters will be able to return for the game against the Bears.

“I don’t know. I know that I got a pretty good report this morning that they’re all moving in the right direction and we’ll just have to see how that goes,” Zimmer said Friday. “I’m hopeful. I mean, these guys want to play [badly], that’s one thing about this football team is they want to fight for each other and these guys want to get back in there and fight as soon as they can.”

Nose tackle Linval Joseph missed the game with a foot injury; safety Harrison Smith was out with a knee and hamstring injury; Anthony Barr has an injured groin and hand (although he’s played through the broken hand twice before); and Andrew Sendejo has an injured knee. To make matters worse at safety for the Vikings, Antone Exum Jr. has an injured rib and shoulder and was placed on Injured Reserve last week.

But with 10 days to rest up, the Vikings are hopeful they can get closer to full strength on defense.

“Sendejo probably will be quickest back, I would guess. But the other [players], talking about Barr, Joseph and Harrison, they’re all kind of right in the same vicinity,” Zimmer said.

The post Extra rest ahead: Four injured defensive starters moving in ‘right direction,’ Zimmer says appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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