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Barr limited in Vikings practice, Diggs still out

Linebacker Anthony Barr and receiver Stefon Diggs suited up, but only Barr officially returned to practice Thursday for the Vikings.

Barr, who is in the concussion protocol and also dealing with an ankle injury, was limited in his return, according to the team’s injury report. Diggs is dealing with a strained groin and has not practiced since suffering the injury in the Oct. 9 win at Chicago.

“It’s kind of in the air right now,” Diggs said of his status for Sunday against the Ravens.

Diggs, who is dealing with a strained groin, donned shoulder pads and warmed up with his teammates, but he was officially listed as not practicing on the team’s injury report. Coach Mike Zimmer said the Vikings still are evaluating Diggs, who has 23 catches for 395 yards and four touchdowns in five games.

“He did a little more today,” Zimmer said of Diggs’ rehab. “So we’ll just see how it goes.”

Diggs has not practiced with his teammates since suffering the groin injury Oct. 9 in Chicago. Entering his third season, he said he was focused on his health after injuries kept him from six games during his first two NFL seasons. Diggs needed a couple weeks to recover from a strained groin last year, but he said this injury isn’t as serious. He still missed Sunday’s win against the Packers.

“Last year was different,” Diggs said Thursday. “Different muscles in there, different things were hurt last year. Last year was a lot more severe.”

Diggs could still return to practice Friday and play.

The Vikings were still without quarterback Sam Bradford, who has not practiced since he was pulled from that game against the Bears.

Receiver Michael Floyd (hamstring) and left guard Nick Easton (calf) were with teammates during warmups, but did not have helmets to practice Thursday. Cornerbacks Tramaine Brock (hamstring) and Mackensie Alexander (hip) were also limited.

The Baltimore Ravens, this week’s Vikings opponent, held six contributors out of Thursday’s practice: WR Breshad Perriman (concussion), S Lardarius Webb (knee), CB Jimmy Smith (Achilles), OL Matt Skura (knee), RB Terrance West (calf) and TE Benjamin Watson (knee).

How good is Mike Zimmer with the challenge flag?

Packers players and coaches immediately pointed at the ground as Jerick McKinnon scooped Case Keenum’s pass for an eight-yard gain.

More importantly, the Vikings picked up a first down and, five plays later, a field goal for the 17-10 lead in the third quarter of Sunday’s win against the Packers. Keenum hurried the Vikings to the line, but a timeout came from Minnesota’s sideline to prevent anything hasty.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy was out of challenges after his second attempt failed in the second quarter. Even if McKinnon’s catch initially hit the ground, it was ruled a catch. Keenum found receiver Adam Thielen out of the timeout for a 23-yard gain. We discussed the pivotal swing and a brief history of Vikings-Packers coach’s challenges in our latest Access Vikings podcast.

You can also find more Vikings insight on iTunes or via Google Play.

While you’re here, we’ve compiled coach’s records on challenges throughout the NFL, according to the reliable Pro Football Reference. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer’s 8-10 record on challenges ranks third in the division. The Vikings have overturned 2 of 3 calls off Zimmer’s red flags this season.

What you’ll see is not many head coaches and their staffs maintain a winning record on referees, if you’re good and fortunate enough to hold a head coaching job for long. McCarthy’s .500 record is an anomaly among the most tenured head coaches.

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