The Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday placed cornerback Harrison Hand on the COVID-19 reserve list, but most of their injured players look to be on the mend.
Hand sat out Sunday’s second game of the season at Arizona due to a hamstring injury. He had played well on special teams in Week 1 at Cincinnati.
Not practicing Wednesday for the Vikings was running back Dalvin Cook due to an ankle injury, but he and Vikings coach Mike Zimmer did not give any indication before the workout that it could keep him out of Sunday’s game against Seattle at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Returning to practice on a limited basis were linebacker Anthony Barr, who missed the first two games of the season because of a knee injury and defensive end Everson Griffen, who sat out against the Cardinals due to a concussion. The Vikings also listed as limited linebacker Eric Kendricks (hip), cornerbacks Patrick Peterson (toe) and Bashaud Breeland (back/shoulder) and tackle Christian Darrisaw, (groin), who has sat out the past two games despite having practiced on a limited basis.
Speaking before practice, Minnesota co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson was optimistic about Griffen being able to play Sunday. He suffered his concussion when he swerved to miss a deer and hit a tree while driving to the TCO Performance Center last Thursday.
“He’s feeling good,” Patterson said. “Like it would scare any of us to have to go through that. But fortunately he’s healthy. He didn’t get hurt. The only (thing) it hurt was his car. So we’re very fortunate there. He’s doing good.”
Cook was banged up against the Cardinals on two occasions in the second half, suffering a shoulder stringer and the ankle injury. Speaking before practice Wednesday, he shrugged off the injuries.
“It was one of them games,” Cook said. “Physical game, knew what we was getting ourselves into. … The first one I just had a stinger. It was kind of unusual. I’ve been playing football since I was four, that was my first stinger. It was kind of different for me. And then when I went down later, it was ankle. … But I’m good.”
Cook said that “recovery is key” and he will be “in the training room a lot” this week.
“Dalvin’s a tough guy,” said Zimmer, who had anticipated before the practice that Cook would do a “little bit” of work. “If he can’t play, there’s a reason why he’s not playing. But he makes us go, so we’re going to continue to play him.”
After Cook, the only other running back on the active roster is Alexander Mattison. Ameer Abdullah is on the practice squad, and is expected to be elevated for Sunday’s game. Abdullah has one allowed elevation left this season but if he ends up being a COVID-19 replacement for Hand, then that wouldn’t count as a standard elevation.
Rookie running back Kene Nwangwu is on injured reserve with a hyperextended left knee suffered in the Aug. 14 preseason opener against Denver. He did work on a side field Wednesday. Nwangwu is eligible to come off injured reserve as soon as next week but a source said the Vikings at this point don’t want to rush him due to the need for him to get his conditioning back.
Breeland’s injuries will be worth keeping an eye on. He has been banged up in each of the first two games of the season, and he is rated as the 99th and last among all NFL cornerbacks by Pro Football Focus. He could end up being replaced in the starting lineup by Cameron Dantzler.
“We’ll just see,” Zimmer said. “I thought (Dantzler) did some good things last week. He’s just got to continue that.”