PHILADELPHIA — Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo sprained his ankle during the first quarter of Sunday’s 21-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and did not return to the game.
Sendejo suffered the injury after he picked off Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and returned it to the 2-yard line. He didn’t realize he had gotten hurt until he got back to the sideline. He has no idea what specifically caused the injury.
After he tested his ankle on the sideline, the medical staff decided to hold him out.
“You don’t want to go out there injured and try to play and hurt your team,” he said.
Rookie Jayron Kearse, a seventh-round pick, replaced Sendejo at safety and recorded two tackles in his first extended playing time on defense. Coach Mike Zimmer noted that Kearse missed a couple of tackles and was slow to react on some plays.
“I didn’t play up to the standard that this defense needed me to,” Kearse said. “So I’ll just go in there ready to work and give a little more with everything that I do.”
Sendejo was able to walk out of the locker room without the aid of crutches. But he was noncommittal about his availability for next Monday night’s game in Chicago.
“We’ve got to wait and see what the docs say and just go from there,” he said.
Eagles use Bradford knowledge
Quarterback Sam Bradford was, of course, booed by Philadelphia athletic supporters in his return to Lincoln Financial Field. Bradford spent last season with the Eagles and was with the team until the end of this preseason, when the Vikings acquired him.
His former teammates did not treat Bradford well either, intercepting him once and forcing him to fumble four times. A few Eagles defenders said that their familiarity with Bradford helped defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz disrupt the quarterback with particular zone blitzes.
“There was one or two looks that we know Sam didn’t like,” Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “It was based off practicing against him and knowing some things that he couldn’t pick up in camp. I think we only ran two of those throughout the game. One ended up being a sack, and I think the other one, he threw it away.”
Eagles special teams more special
After Blair Walsh booted a 48-yard field goal in the second quarter for the first points of the game, the Eagles’ Josh Huff scored on a 98-yard kickoff return.
“The kicker hung the ball up there, and I was able to rely on my guys up front to get the job done,” said Huff, who said he knew he would score “once I saw him kick it.”
Since the start of the 2011 season, the Vikings and the Eagles have both produced 13 touchdowns on special teams, tops in the league over that span.
Diggs back, but mainly silent
Receiver Stefon Diggs, who missed the Vikings’ Week 5 victory over the Texans because of a lingering groin injury, was back in the lineup Sunday. The Eagles, who rank among the NFL’s best in pass defense, held him to two catches for 18 yards.
Diggs, who was targeted five times, declined an interview request after the game.
Diggs was one of only four wide receivers active for the Vikings. First-round draft pick Laquon Treadwell, who has been dealing with a thumb injury, and Jarius Wright, the veteran slot receiver who has been hobbled by an ankle injury, were not in uniform.
Also inactive for the Vikings were offensive linemen Nick Easton and Willie Beavers, linebacker Kentrell Brothers, tight end MyCole Pruitt and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.
Hillman sees action
Running back Ronnie Hillman was active for the first time in his Vikings career.
Hillman, the former Denver Broncos back whom the Vikings signed after placing Adrian Peterson on injured reserve, lost 6 yards on his only carry and had one catch for 2 yards. Hillman also missed a blitz pick-up that contributed to a sack.
The Vikings as a team rushed for 93 yards on 27 carries. Matt Asiata led the team with 55 yards, 29 of which came on a chain-moving draw play on third-and-13.
Jerick McKinnon added 43 yards on 11 carries but twice had to leave the game because of injury. He threw his helmet down on the sideline after leaving in the fourth quarter.