The Vikings’ upcoming Week 10 bye is welcomed after four starters were held out of Sunday’s 24-9 victory against the Lions. Two more contributors — right guard Mike Remmers and tight end David Morgan — were injured in the game while another, cornerback Xavier Rhodes, was hobbled throughout because of a lingering foot injury.
“We’re fairly beat up,” coach Mike Zimmer said. “Defensively, we’ve been beaten up now for a few weeks. We’ve got some guys, offensively, we hope we can get back. We got back [left tackle] Riley [Reiff], which was good. Quite honestly, I need a break.”
Morgan, the Vikings’ No. 2 tight end, had a large bag of ice taped to his left knee after exiting the game in the third quarter. He limped through the locker room afterward. Remmers appeared to injure his leg on the Vikings’ final extra point in the fourth quarter. Guard Brett Jones played the last series for Remmers, who said he was “OK” afterward and happy about the upcoming bye.
“No question, I’m pumped about it,” Remmers said. “It’s nice to get some recovery in and spend some quality time with the family and take a deep breath before the last push.”
Safety Andrew Sendejo (groin, missed four games), linebacker Anthony Barr (hamstring, two games), guard Tom Compton (knee, two games) and receiver Stefon Diggs (rib, one game) are also on the mend.
Tackles settle in
Reiff returned from a three-game absence because of a foot injury. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was sacked only once, when Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah beat guard Danny Isidora on a twist.
“I was probably a little rusty,” Reiff said. “But I think I’ve played enough football where I can just hop back in there and get back to it.”
Rookie Brian O’Neill has earned the starting right tackle job over Rashod Hill, who was benched Sunday for the first time this season. O’Neill, a second-round pick out of Pittsburgh, has impressed Reiff with his focus for a rookie.
“He’s fearless,” Reiff said. “That’s the attitude you have to have.”
Running back Latavius Murray had to wait a couple of minutes to be credited with his fifth rushing touchdown of the past four games. Murray’s reach across the goal line for a 1-yard score was initially ruled a fumble recovered by tight end Kyle Rudolph, but Murray said he was confident that would be corrected in the official NFL stats.
“I did, to be honest,” Murray said. “I know that’s one of my strengths, being down in that part of the field. Those kinds of things are obviously a gamble or a risk, sticking the ball out there. But when you have a nose for the end zone and an awareness — I feel I do — it usually works out.”
‘More like him’
Defensive end Everson Griffen appeared to have some of his old burst back while contributing 1½ sacks. Griffen, in his second game back from a five-game absence to address mental health concerns, finished with four tackles, including a run stop.
“I know he looked a lot more like him this week in practice,” Zimmer said. “He was rusty in the first ballgame last week. I think he was more like him [against the Lions.]”
Lions rookie guard Frank Ragnow’s homecoming was more bitter than sweet after Detroit surrendered 10 sacks on quarterback Matthew Stafford, which set the Vikings franchise record. Ragnow, a former Chanhassen High School star, was drafted in the first round by the Lions this spring to prevent that kind of poor outing.
“It is a big shot to our pride,” Ragnow said.