The Vikings secondary is in trouble. Not only do the Vikings have a lot of inexperience in their defensive backs, but they are getting hit hard by injuries. Here is a quick list of some of the players that are currently being hindered by an ailment:
- Mistral Raymond – Safety – Shoulder
- Harrison Smith – Safety – Shoulder
- Chris Cook – Corner – Groin
- Jamarca Sanford – Safety – Hamstring
- A.J. Jefferson – Corner – Ankle
Keep in mind that three of those four players are usually starters.
The situation at cornerback is currently the most dire. Last week against the Browns, cornerback A.J. Jefferson stepped in for Cook after the groin injury, but struggled immensely in coverage. Cornerback Josh Robinson has been targeted 23 times this season and has allowed 22 catches on those attempts. Xavier Rhodes is a rookie who is still adjusting to the speed of the NFL game. Surprisingly, Marcus Sherels provided a positive spot last week when he recorded 8 tackles and 2 passes defended. And you know the Vikings are missing Antoine Winfield really badly this year.
Safety is also looking rough. Although Smith has been playing through his shoulder injury, the injuries to Sanford and Raymond are pretty big. Safeties play an important role in the Vikings defensive system, and any slowing or weeks off from players who excel in the system will hurt badly.
Looking forward, it will be very tough for this team to fix the problems in the secondary. Even if the players manage to get healthy, the team is giving up an average of 315.7 passing yards per game, which is good for 5th worst in the NFL.