As the NFL has made a point to deem “devastating blows” unacceptable and worthy of distributing hefty fines for such hits, it’s a reminder to coaches, players and fans alike how violent the sport of football can be at times. And with a violent sport comes injuries.
The Vikings –not unlike any other team in the league – have dealt with the injury bug on many different levels. But 3 key players were pointed topics in head coach Brad Childress’ Wednesday press conference.
Vikings regular starting C John Sullivan has been plagued with a nagging calf injury since training camp and his participation has taken a hit as a result. Both backup Cs Ryan Cook and Jon Cooper have seen time in place of Sullivan, but Cooper eventually landed the replacement role.
After Childress’ press conference, it seems as if Sullivan is making strides towards getting back into the starting position but isn’t ready for an entire game.
“Right now I would say that would be a tag-team deal,” Childress said of Sullivan and Cooper’s playing time. “We’re going to rep those guys equally in practice and see how Jon comes along. As you here me say often, it’ll be how he comes back tomorrow and how he feels, but both those guys are going to take snaps in there, he and Cooper.”
Another unit that’s dealt with injuries is the secondary. CB Cedric Griffin is out for the season with a torn ACL while rookie Chris Cook is currently dealing with a knee injury. On top of the injuries to those 2 key CBs is Vikings starting S Husain Abdullah, who encountered a head injury against the Dallas Cowboys. Abdullah’s timetable to return isn’t clear, especially with the league taking extra precautions regarding head injuries.
“As of right now, I’m foggy on it as is he foggy,” Childress acknowledged of Abdullah’s return. If Abdullah is unable to return, Childress said he’d take a look at both Tyrell Johnson and Jamarca Sanford.
Perhaps the most anticipated return from injury is that of WR Sidney Rice, who is rehabbing from hip surgery. Rice was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list prior to the season, barring him from play until Week 7. Although Rice could be removed from the PUP list this week to play against the Packers, the Pro Bowler still has a ways to go before he can step onto the field with full certainty that his hip has healed.
When asked if Rice was at a point where he could participate with the team, Childress simply acknowledged, “he’s not.”
“He still going through his treatment,” Childress said. “At such time he can get out there, then we have to declare that. Then he’s got three weeks from that point when he’s physically out there practicing, taking practice turns. Now, he can do some land training. Whether it’s walking, whether it’s jogging on the turf or on the grass, but we’ve got three weeks from when we feel like he’s able to come back and practice, but we have to take a look at him. And you know there’s football shape and there’s conditioning shape.”
Tags: Husain Abduallah, John Sullivan, Jon Cooper, Sidney Rice
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