Mistral Raymond could return to action this Sunday in Seattle. The Vikings second-year safety has missed the past five-and-a-half games after dislocating his right ankle in a Sept. 23 win over San Francisco.
Raymond has been back practicing the past two weeks, participating mostly in individual work. This week, he will be integrated back into full-team activities, with the Vikings medical staff and coach Leslie Frazier closely monitoring his recovery.
“We need to get him through an entire week of practice,” Frazier said. “We’re going to give him a little bit more this week and then we’ll make a decision later in the week. But all indications are that he’s improved enough where he can go through everything in practice.”
Frazier was non-committal on whether Raymond would immediately return to the starting lineup if he were cleared to play. But Frazier has said in recent weeks that Raymond would become a starter again once he’s 100 percent.
“He’s missed a bunch of time,” Frazier said, “so we have to see him go through some things with his teammates before we put him out there.”
Frazier said he wants to keep a close eye this week on how Raymond responds both physically and mentally to the heightened workload.
“When we put him through the paces of what we’re doing with seven-on-seven, team, individual work, whatever we’re doing, we want to see how he responds, say on Thursday after the Wednesday practice and Friday after the Thursday practice,” Frazier said. “Because it will be much more intense than it has been for him as we integrate him into everything that we’re doing.”
- Frazier said he sensed an eagerness in his players during Monday’s short practice. Four days after a tough-to-swallow 36-17 home loss to Tampa Bay, the Vikings had the weekend off, which seemed to be a good way to step away from their most recent stumble and put it into perspective. An unusual Monday practice was structured mostly around polishing up fundamentals. Up next: this weekend’s trip to Seattle. Said Frazier: “From the meeting today, our guys are anxious to get moving on the Seattle game plan. … Just to be able to clear your mind and get started on the second half of the season, this break comes at a good time for us. You really feel like there’s a clean slate and you’re starting anew. I think that’s a good thing from a mental standpoint.”
- Receiver Michael Jenkins missed Monday’s practice due to personal reasons and will be back with the team Wednesday. Jenkins tweeted a tribute to his grandmother, who passed away Thursday. Tight end John Carlson also sat out the practice, still yet to be cleared after suffering a concussion eight days ago against Arizona.
- Cornerback Chris Cook has had successful surgery on his broken arm. As for the roster spot that was left open when Cook was put on injured reserve Friday, the Vikings are planning to make a move to fill that spot at some point this week. Cook’s absence heightens the responsibility that will be put on young cornerbacks Josh Robinson and A.J. Jefferson.