With rookie middle linebacker Eric Kendricks sitting out yesterday’s win over the Rams, veteran Chad Greenway was an every-down player again.
Greenway started at outside linebacker in the base defense and replaced Kendricks, who is dealing with injured ribs, in the nickel. He would play all 74 defensive snaps, which was more than his past three games combined.
Greenway tied for the team lead in tackles with 10, one of them for a loss.
And when Audie Cole, who started at middle linebacker with Kendricks out, fractured his ankle in the fourth quarter, Greenway moved inside to replace him in the middle. Second-year linebacker Brandon Watts then came in to fill Greenway’s weak-side position in the base defense, getting seven snaps.
Strong-side linebacker Anthony Barr started and played every defensive snap even though a lower back injury kept him out of two practices last week and he was spotted wearing a cast on his left arm after the game.
Here are some other observations from the NFL’s official snap counts:
— Top pick Trae Waynes played 31 defensive snaps, his second-highest total of the season, after starting cornerback Terence Newman suffered a concussion. Waynes, who had not been used on defense the previous two weeks, was called for a pass interference penalty that preceded the Rams’ late game-tying field goal. Newman played 42 snaps. Fellow starter Xavier Rhodes played 73. And slot cornerback Captain Munnerlyn played 34.
— The Vikings upped their usage of multiple-TE sets, on several occasions using all three active tight ends at once. Starter Kyle Rudolph played 61 of 72 offensive snaps. Rhett Ellison, back from a concussion, got a season-high 47. And rookie MyCole Pruitt played 19, his second-highest total in 2015.
— Wide receiver Charles Johnson played more snaps than Jarius Wright, who had been entrenched as the No. 3 wide receiver. Johnson out-snapped Wright, 27-23. Starters Stefon Diggs and Mike Wallace played 47 and 45 snaps, respectively. Adam Thielen and Cordarrelle Patterson got one apiece.
— Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater played 51 snaps before getting knocked out of the game with a concussion early in the fourth quarter. Veteran Shaun Hill played the final 21 snaps. It was his first action of the season. He completed two of his six attempts for just 15 yards and took one sack.
— Defensive tackle Tom Johnson made his third straight start in place of the injured Sharrif Floyd and he rarely came off the field. Johnson played 67 of the 74 defensive snaps, giving him the highest participation percentage that a Vikings defensive tackle has had so far this season. Nose tackle Linval Joseph, who had a whale of a game, played 55. Kenrick Ellis played 10.
— Left guard Brandon Fusco in the second quarter missed his first snap of the season. He was replaced for one play by second-year lineman Zac Kerin before returning. The rest of the starting offensive line played all 72 snaps.
— Running back Adrian Peterson was a workhorse yesterday, playing 54 snaps and carrying the ball 29 times for a game-high 125 yards. Matt Asiata played 13 snaps. Jerick McKinnon got six. Fullback Zach Line played 16.
— Neither Harrison Smith nor Andrew Sendejo, the starting duo at safety, has missed a play during the team’s current four-game winning streak.