Vikings prepare for home stretch with largely healthy team

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The Vikings paid their annual short-week bill seven days ago, on Thanksgiving in Detroit. With three more days to go before starting a key NFC South tour with visits to Atlanta and Carolina, the Vikings are mostly healthy — and definitely more healthy than most teams.

The Wednesday injury report has only three names: linebacker Eric Kendricks (hip) did not practice, right tackle Mike Remmers (back) practiced on a limited basis, and safety Andrew Sendejo (groin) fully participated in practice.

Yes, the Vikings otherwise have had their share of significant injury issues, from the one-and-done disappearance of Sam Bradford to the non-contact, season-ending ACL injury suffered by Dalvin Cook. But as the season enters the home stretch, with everyone playing five games in the next 31 days, the Vikings are in good shape.

Changes made by their head coach from 2016 to 2017 may have had something to do with that. The day after Minnesota’s 30-23 win over the Lions, defensive end Everson Griffen explained on PFT Live that Mike Zimmer has indeed been doing things differently.

“He’s been taking good care of us,” Griffen said. “He’s been taking care of our bodies more. I’m a firm believer that if your team is capable of taking the pads off and still going out there and competing and being physical. . . . All that banging in practice is necessary sometimes, but it’s the National Football League. . . . I can really, say, that yeah he’s been doing a good job of taking care of us and letting us be more fresher. The brain rules everything. If your brain is dead it doesn’t matter how good your body is. Your brain will just completely tell your body, ‘Don’t go.'”

The bodies and the brains of the Vikings currently seem to be doing pretty well. But it’s all subject to change, and even with only five games left, plenty of change is still coming to the overall positioning process of postseason berths.

24 responses to “Vikings prepare for home stretch with largely healthy team

  1. As a Vikes fan, this is great news. However, things can change in an instant. Don’t take anything for granted.

  2. “and even with only five games left, plenty of change is still coming to the overall positioning process of postseason berths.”
    ___________________________________
    Unless it isn’t.

  3. Great photo btw. And happy to see Vikes with a good SB chance. But “had their share of significant injuries”?? No, I think the Vikes have been relatively very lucky! Just a couple of key guys. And normally the starting QB is a huge loss but not this time (it may have even helped!), and otherwise the Vikes have had relatively few other problems compared to some teams. Pats have lost over half their starters – their leading WR, 2 other starting WRs, 2 starting o-line, 3 starting d-line, captain of the defense & 2 other starting LBs, 2 starting DBs, captain of the special-teams, and 4 other supporting players – plus lost their leading DE (Ninkovich) in late preseason. And that’s not even counting the walking wounded. And the Giants are even more banged up than that!!

  4. One big name is on that list. Eric Kendricks. He’s right in the middle of everything on defense. He’s the most valuable guy on that side of the ball. He roams the entire field, making plays. A lot of the positions have good depth. I think there’s a big drop off when he’s is on the sidelines.

  5. Starting QB and RB are on IR and the team is largely healthy? Seems like maybe the headline should have been something about the Vikings backups exceeding all expectations.

  6. “and even with only five games left, plenty of change is still coming to the overall positioning process of postseason berths.”

    Yes, with a loss, teams currently with a 5 – 6 record will be virtually eliminated from the playoffs in the NFC.

  7. The Rams and Eagles can tell you that the worst thing for a team is to pin your hopes to Sam Bradford, it is a mirage. As a matter of fact, all 3 teams he’s played for are much better off now that he’s gone. All 3 of the teams have much better QBs and lead their divisions.

    The Bradford injury is probably the best thing that could’ve happened to the Vikings.

  8. eagleswin says:

    The Rams and Eagles can tell you that the worst thing for a team is to pin your hopes to Sam Bradford, it is a mirage. As a matter of fact, all 3 teams he’s played for are much better off now that he’s gone. All 3 of the teams have much better QBs and lead their divisions.

    The Bradford injury is probably the best thing that could’ve happened to the Vikings.
    ########################

    Case Keenum has done an excellent job for the Vikings as Sam’s replacement.

    But it wasn’t a mirage I watched at U.S. Bank Stadium on Monday nite, September 11th of this year.

    Sam played 15 straight games for us in 2016, behind a very depleted Oline.

    Against the Saints, he showed what he can do with proper protection against a very good team.

    27 for 32, 346 yards, 3 TD’s and a 143 QB rating is a pretty solid evening against a team that is currently #1 in the NFC South.

    I wish Sam well – whether he is with us or someone else in 2018.

  9. Don’t forget this team has played the last 5 or 6 games while missing at least 1 starting o-lineman, mostly Remmers. Why does everyone continue to fail to mention Shariff Floyd? Is his career over for good due to nerve damage from surgery? Imagine how good that line could have been? Fortunately most injuries get spread around among position groups this yr and are not long term.

  10. staffordisbetterthanyourteamsqb says:

    It’s very clear to anyone who watches football that this team isn’t going anywhere in the playoffs
    ############

    So are the Lions just going to skip the playoffs altogether? Because if the Vikings are going anywhere in the playoffs, the Lions aren’t either.

    Or don’t you watch football on Thanksgiving?

  11. Stay healthy boys. Injuries derailed us last season as it does to so many teams. Likely a loss in the next two games Atlanta & Carolina with 3 winnable games after that, two at home. Vikings aren’t going to 14-2 but they could likely go 13-3. Totally unbelievable considering everything that has happened to this team.

    Lets go!

  12. I cant see a loss to Carolina. If the VIkes lose again it will be Sunday. IF the Vikes can stop the Falcons run game like they did the Rams, they will finish 14-2.
    I’m a bit nervous about Kendricks’ hip, though. He was isnstrumental in stopping Gurley, we will need him on Sunday.
    It seems that no one in the media is buying into the Vikes’ success. Pepople think that its just a bubble due to Aaron Rodgers being out and Case Keenum playing well. I hate that.

  13. staffordisbetterthanyourteamsqb says:
    November 30, 2017 at 9:06 am
    It’s very clear to anyone who watches football that this team isn’t going anywhere in the playoffs

    I can only surmise that this must be implying that we’ll have home field advantage the whole way through the SB? Thanks for the positive vibes!

  14. codylaws says:
    November 30, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Would love to see Cook come back for playoffs.
    _______

    I’d love to see that too, but I hope you’re not getting your hopes up. He has a torn ACL.

  15. If you average out the injuries over the last two years, the Vikings would still be one of the least healthy teams in the NFL. After what happened last year, they deserve having some relative health.

    But don’t minimize the effect of losing your starting quarterback and your most versatile and dynamic offensive player. The Vikings have had the depth and coaching to overcome those very significant injuries. Other teams have not been able to do that.

  16. Glad to see Zim changing to keep his players fresh for the end of the season.A couple years ago he took some criticism from Rhett Ellison”s dad Riki. Riki said the Vikings practices in pads were too physical.

  17. staffordisbetterthanyourteamsqb says:
    November 30, 2017 at 9:06 am
    It’s very clear to anyone who watches football that this team isn’t going anywhere in the playoffs

    ———————————–

    You should just worry about that over achieving 6-5 Lions team. As far as “staffordisbetterthanyourteamsqb” is concerned, no he is not.

  18. Eagleswin… you are spot on. Bradford seems like a good guy. He just doesn’t have balls like Keenum. Sam panics in the pocket… he needs impeccable protection. If things break down around him he breaks down as well. It’s hard to watch. I wish him well but I’m very glad he won’t be a Viking next season.
    With Bradford the Vikes would probably be 7-4, at best.

  19. staffordisbetterthanyourteamsqb says: “It’s very clear to anyone who watches football that this team isn’t going anywhere in the playoffs.”

    Perhaps… but what is ABSOLUTELY CRYSTAL CLEAR is that the kitty cats won’t even make it into the playoffs… again.

  20. I heard Coach Zimmer found a four leaf clover on the sidelines of the field first week of practice. He knew it was a lucky year.
    Man I love and respect that guy.

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