The Vikings (1-0-1) will be without defensive end Everson Griffen on Sunday against the Bills (0-2) for just the third time since he became a starter in 2014.
Griffen, who is listed with a knee injury and didn’t practice all week after playing 69 snaps against the Packers, was one of four Vikings ruled out Friday.
Defensive end Stephen Weatherly will get his first career NFL start in place of Griffen with defensive end Danielle Hunter expected to shift to defend off left tackle.
Defensive tackle Tom Johnson, re-signed this week on a one-year deal worth up to $1.5 million, will be a ‘new’ addition to the rotation behind starter Sheldon Richardson. Johnson had 16 sacks in the last four seasons for the Vikings.
Running back Dalvin Cook (hamstring), tight end David Morgan (knee) and punt returner Marcus Sherels (ribs) have also been ruled out.
Latavius Murray will get his first start of the season for Cook. Expect to see more tight end Tyler Conklin, the fifth-round rookie, and likely cornerback Mike Hughes as the punt returner for Sherels. Two rookie running backs, Mike Boone and Roc Thomas, are active for the first time for the Vikings.
Also active for the first time this season is center Pat Elflein, but he’s expected to come off the bench, per head coach Mike Zimmer.
Center Brett Jones will get his third straight start.
The Bills will be without running back LeSean McCoy, who was limited this week in practice reportedly due to cracked rib cartilage.
Running back Chris Ivory is expected to start for Buffalo.
Vikings’ inactives: Griffen, Cook, Morgan, Sherels, QB Kyle Sloter, DT Jalyn Holmes and G Bryan Witzmann.
Bills’ inactives: DE Shaq Lawson (hamstring), McCoy (ribs), CB Phillip Gaines (elbow), OT Conor McDermott, TE Logan Thomas, G Ike Boettger and G Wyatt Teller.