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Injured Vikings Smith, Griffen sit out practice

Vikings safety Harrison Smith (knee) and defensive end Everson Griffen (hip, shoulder) missed Thanksgiving Day practice at Winter Park because of injuries. Friday will be a key day for two of the team’s top defensive players, who probably will have to participate in practice to be able to play Sunday in Atlanta.

Meanwhile, standout Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (concussion) is still not cleared to practice. WR Leonard Hankerson (hamstring) and K Matt Bryant (quad) also sat out Thursday for Atlanta.

The Vikings’ injury report Thursday included a new addition in CB Trae Waynes (ankle), who was limited. Listed as full participants were T Matt Kalil (toe), S Robert Blanton (ankle), DT Sharrif Floyd (ankle), QB Teddy Bridgewater (left shoulder) and LBS Anthony Barr (hand) and Eric Kendricks (ribs).

There was no media access Thursday at Winter Park.

Access Vikings morning walkthrough: Vikings fine with lack of takeaways, Smith sits out practice and more

Every weekday, we walk you through what’s going on with the Vikings.


— The Vikings are 7-3 with a defense that ranks ninth in the NFL overall, fifth in third-down conversions and third in scoring. But when it comes to takeaways, only four teams have fewer than their modest total of 11.

— Harrison Smith was held out of practice on Wednesday. But the standout safety downplayed concerns about the severity of his knee injury.

This week’s five Vikings stats that stand out include a look at how Mike Wallace has been the NFL’s least efficient wideout the past four weeks.

— Teddy Bridgewater is confident he will connect with Wallace soon.


— Falcons starting running back Devonta Freeman remains in the league’s concussion protocol program and did not practice on Wednesday.

— Because Freeman is reeling, the Falcons may utilize rookie backs Tevin Coleman and Terron Ward more this weekend against the Vikings.

— Star wide receiver Julio Jones said the Falcons, who have lost four out of their last five games, can lean on him to get through this rough patch.


The Vikings will practice in the morning before players are dismissed to go feast on some turkey. There is no media access, which I’m thankful for.


Smith might be as close to irreplaceable as any Vikings defender. He is one of the NFL’s premier safeties and he plays a valuable role in coach Mike Zimmer’s blitz packages. No NFL safety has created more pressure this season as a blitzer than Smith, who has recorded one sack, a league-high five hits and 10 total pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.

12:00 PM, 11/29 (FOX)
Minnesota 7-3
Atlanta 6-4

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