The injury situation is getting a little bit dire for the Vikings. On Sunday several key players suffered dings and some of these guys might not be ready to go on Sunday against the Packers. Needless to say, the Vikings’ chances of winning at Lambeau will be greatly reduced if they are not at full-strength personnel-wise.
Of all the newly injured guys, the one I’m most worried about is Kyle Rudolph. He had to leave the Bears game after a blow to the head and will now be required to pass concussion tests before he can play. As we’ve seen many times before, the concussion situation is tricky. The new protocols make it tough for guys to get back on the field the first week. Odds are that Rudolph will not pass the tests. And if Rudolph can’t play? A poor Vikings offense becomes unspeakably bad.
Harrison Smith right now is in the same situation as Rudolph. He will have to pass the concussion tests before he can play. Smith has had some struggles in recent weeks but overall he has been an effective safety. If he can’t go the Vikes will have to face the vaunted Packers offense with Mistral Raymond and Jamarca Sanford starting side-by-side. Needless to say, that would not be ideal.
And then there’s Percy Harvin. Percy has now missed two games with an ankle sprain. This week will be all about the Percy Watch again. The Vikes will try to get him on the practice field but who knows how much work he’ll get. Who knows if he’ll be well enough to play against the Packers.
No Percy or K-Rudy against the Packers? That’s the prospect we’re facing. Where will the offense come from? Obviously there’s Adrian Peterson (assuming he makes the bus). But what about the passing game? How will the Vikings move the ball? Can Christian Ponder rely on any of his healthy receiving options? Jerome Simpson can’t even hold onto the accurate passes right now.
This was always going to be a tough game, but with so many key players potentially on the shelf, it’s looking like a horror show in the making. I hope I’m wrong about this. I hope Adrian Peterson and the defense can carry the team to victory. But, it’s the Packers at Lambeau. And the Packers are sweating a little bit after their loss to the Giants. So they’re going to be focused and fired up. I’m not optimistic. But we’ll see how the injury report shapes up as the week progresses.
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