Smith eager to return to Vikings lineup at safety

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 12, 2013 - 1:00 AM

The Vikings safety, out since October, can’t wait to play.

 

A simple “no” wouldn’t suffice. Instead, Harrison Smith made his point by rattling off the final three opponents on the Vikings’ schedule.

Asked recently if he considered shutting down for the season to recover fully from his turf toe injury, Smith quickly and unequivocally brushed aside that line of questioning, even though the Vikings were humming along on the path to nowhere.

“Eagles, Bengals, Lions,” the second-year safety noted.

In other words, Smith had no intention of calling it a season, regardless of the team’s record or circumstance.

“All the other stuff that comes with playing in the NFL is nice obviously, but getting to play on Sundays is what it’s all about,” he said. “So when you can’t do that, you feel kind of lost.”

Smith is expected to get his wish this week after being sidelined since Oct. 13. Barring an unforeseen setback in practice, Smith will be activated from the injured reserve/designated for return list and play against Philadelphia on Sunday.

Coach Leslie Frazier said the plan calls for Smith to ease back into action. Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo will remain the starters with Smith getting a predetermined number of snaps as a backup.

“Based on how Harrison does this week [in practice] we’ll make a determination on how much he plays,” Smith said.

Smith chose rest and rehabilitation over surgery after being diagnosed with turf toe in his left foot following the Carolina game. The Vikings gave Smith the “designated for return” tag, meaning he was eligible to return to practice two weeks ago after being sidelined for six weeks.

“It’s obviously going to take a long time for it to get back to where it was,” Smith said. “But it’s structurally sound. I can move around and can do what I want to do, so it feels good.”

Strong season

A case could be made that Smith was playing better than anyone on the Vikings defense before his injury. In five games, he collected 41 tackles, two interceptions, three pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

As eager as he is to pick up where he left off, Smith said he agrees with the team’s decision to proceed slowly with his return.

“I think the coaches are going to do a good job of not just killing me and just throwing me out there and having me take all the reps,” he said. “Especially with [Philadelphia’s] type of offense.”

The Eagles aren’t exactly an ideal opponent for Smith, or anyone, to face after a lengthy layoff. Coach Chip Kelly’s fast-paced attack ranks in the top 10 in most league offensive categories, including rushing (first, 158.5 ypg), total offense (third, 409.3 ypg) and scoring (tied for ninth, 25.7 ppg).

The Eagles already have reached 400 yards in 10 games this season and are trying to become only the fifth team in NFL history to hit that mark 11 times in one season.

Their hurry-up offense will test the Vikings’ stamina, which is particularly concerning for Smith, who will need some time to get into game shape.

  • related content

  • Vikings notes: Peterson, Gerhart held out of practice

    Thursday December 12, 2013

    Vikings coach Leslie Frazier doesn’t expect injured running backs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart to practice until Friday, if at all this week, but hasn’t ruled either player out.

  • Vikings' three and out: Cassel's back

    Wednesday December 11, 2013

    Ball security is the primary reason Matt Cassel was named on Wednesday as Sunday’s starting quarterback for the Vikings.

  • Scouting report: Philadelphia Eagles

    Wednesday December 11, 2013

    ABOUT THE EAGLES RECORD: 8-5• The Eagles have a one-game lead over the Cowboys in the NFC East and hold the...

  • Vikings-Eagles injury report

    Wednesday December 11, 2013

    VIKINGS-EAGLES INJURY REPORTVikings: TE John Carlson (concussion), RB Adrian Peterson (foot), RB Toby Gerhart (hamstring), G Brandon Fusco (knee), CB...

  • Harrison Smith (22) celebrated his third quarter interception with hea...

  • Vikings safety Harrison Smith suffered a turf toe injury Oct. 13 against the Carolina Panthers and hasn’t played since.

  • philadelphia at vikings

    Vikings week 15

    Noon Sunday vs. Philadelphia • Mall of America Field • TV: Ch. 9 (100.3-FM, 1130 AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: L. Garcia 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - LP: D. Pomeranz 4 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 4
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 FINAL
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 116 FINAL
Denver 112
LA Clippers 104 FINAL
Portland 110
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Dallas 3 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Wild-Colorado playoff series?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close