Cornerback Xavier Rhodes’ status is very much up in the air, but there is optimism that he’ll play for the Minnesota Vikings against the Panthers this week.
An injury-riddled Minnesota Vikings team might be getting some reinforcements this week, as cornerback Xavier Rhodes has officially been listed as questionable after practicing in a limited capacity all week.
The physical cornerback missed the first two weeks of the season after suffering a knee injury during pregame warm ups before Week 1, but he seems to be on track to suit up for his first snaps of the year on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.
After Friday’s practice, head coach Mike Zimmer expressed cautious optimism when asked if his top cornerback Xavier Rhodes will play this week, telling reporters, “I think there’s a good possibility, we’ll see.” (via Vikings.com)
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The return of Rhodes would be a huge benefit for the Vikings, who need a big, physical defender to match up with 6’5″ Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin. Benjamin has already scored three touchdowns in two games this year, so Rhodes’ size and strength would be very useful in helping to keep him contained.
When asked, Rhodes said he was unsure of whether or not he’ll play this week, saying it’s ultimately up to the coaching staff.
"“We’ll find out at the same time,” Rhodes told reporters after Friday’s practice. (via Andrew Krammer, 1500 ESPN)"
Getting Xavier Rhodes back would be a huge benefit for the Vikings, but for now it’s just a waiting game. When going against reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton having the secondary at full strength will be crucial. Whether that’s the case or not for the Vikings will likely come down to a game time decision.