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Vikings' Berger out vs. Jacksonville

MINNEAPOLIS -- Vikings center Joe Berger was ruled out for Sunday's game at Jacksonville, the second straight game he will miss because of a concussion.

Oct 3, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon (21) celebrates with center Joe Berger (61) his touchdown against the New York Giants in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 3, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon (21) celebrates with center Joe Berger (61) his touchdown against the New York Giants in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS - Vikings center Joe Berger was ruled out for Sunday's game at Jacksonville, the second straight game he will miss because of a concussion.

After practicing Tuesday and Wednesday, Berger sat out Thursday. Nick Easton will get his second NFL start with Berger out.

Also ruled out Friday were safety Harrison Smith (ankle), who will miss his first game of the season, and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, who will sit out his 12th straight.

Listed as questionable were cornerback and punt returner Marcus Sherels (rib) and linebacker Edmond Robinson (hamstring).

Coach Mike Zimmer has said he expects Sherels to return after missing two games with a fractured rib suffered Nov. 20 against Arizona.

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Zimmer expected to coach from sideline

Zimmer has one significant restriction for Sunday's game: Don't get bowled over on the sideline.

Indications Friday were that Zimmer will coach from the sideline rather than in the box for his first game back since undergoing emergency eye surgery last week. But he needs to be careful.

"The doctor just doesn't want me to get hit,'' Zimmer said. "That's all. So, we'll be OK.''

Zimmer sat out the Vikings' Dec. 1 loss to Dallas following surgery the night before to repair a detached retina. He had another surgery the next day and returned to work last Monday.

The coach wore a patch over his right eye during practice Friday, but did not have one on for a news conference that followed.

Zimmer was set to fly with the team Saturday to Jacksonville. He will return Sunday after having missed the first game in his 23 years as an NFL head coach or assistant.

"He's a warrior,'' cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said. "We knew he wasn't going to stay away for long, so it's definitely great to get him back.''

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Diggs on track to join 100-catch club

Second-year receiver Stefon Diggs has a chance to join a pair of legends in the Vikings' record book.

The only players in Minnesota history to make 100 catches in a season are hall of famer Cris Carter and Randy Moss, who figures to join Carter in the Canton, Ohio, shrine soon. Now, Diggs also could get to the century mark.

Diggs is fourth in the NFL in receptions with 75 for 806 yards. He has missed two games because of injury and is averaging 7.5 receptions in the 10 he has played.

If Diggs can maintain that pace through the final four games, he would finish with 105 receptions. That would give him the fifth 100-catch season in Minnesota history, with Carter and Moss having two each.

"I'm going to be happy for it if it happens," Diggs. "But if it doesn't, I just hope we're winning at that point."

The team's last 100-catch season was in 2003 when Moss had 111.

Carter holds the team record with 122 catches in a season, in both 1994 and 1995.

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Briefly

Vikings defensive tackle Tom Johnson had his appeal of an $18,231 fine for a roughing-the-passer penalty in a Nov. 20 game against Arizona heard Thursday by an appeals officer jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFL Players Association. "Johnson has called the hit and fine "B.S."

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