For the third time this season, the Vikings will be without safety Andrew Sendejo. He has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Los AngelesRams because of groin and hamstring injuries.
Anthony Harris could get his third start for Sendejo. However, the ageless Terence Newman filled in when Sendejo exited last week's game at Washington.
"That's the most surprising part, [Newman] being old and out there still able to play," cornerback Xavier Rhodes said of the 39-year-old Newman's spot roles at safety and nickel corner. "Moving well like he's 23."
Could we see No. 23 get the start at safety? Maybe, maybe not. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer conceded Newman's move to safety at Washington was partly due to Harris playing through a lingering hamstring injury. Harris' practice participation was the same this week, ending with a full session Friday.
If healthy, Harris is the presumed starter again given he has trust of the coaching staff. The University of Virginia product regularly aces his position room's weekly quiz. The Vikings have another option in Jayron Kearse, a regular on special teams who is hard to miss at 6-foot-4.
"One's got a little more physicality," Zimmer said. "And the other one's a little more coverage."
Harris' coverage skills might come in handy against the high-flying Rams offense, scoring a league-high 32.9 points per game. Kearse, who hasn't started since he was pulled from his only start last year, said Friday he is feeling more comfortable in the defense.
"Just understanding the game better and being confident in what they want me to do," Kearse said. "I'll continue to learn on defense so when I do get the opportunity, I can go out there and make the best of it."
Remmers ruled out
Right tackle Mike Remmers suffered a setback in the concussion protocol and will miss a second game Sunday, according to Zimmer. Remmers had practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and Thursday before being sidelined Friday. Rashod Hill is expected to start for Remmers again.
Remmers was injured Oct. 29 against the Browns when he attempted to cut block Cleveland linebacker Jamie Collins.
Vikings defensive ends Brian Robison (back) and Everson Griffen (foot) are listed questionable. Griffen has vowed to play after being limited all week while Robison was held out Friday after practicing without issue Wednesday and Thursday.
Stadium doors open?
The Vikings practiced outside Friday in a light rain and brisk 37-degree air, despite playing indoors at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday. The move was aimed at keeping legs fresh on natural grass, as the Vikings will play two games in five days next week.
But will they open the set of five 55-foot wide glass doors to invite the November chill onto the field Sunday? Zimmer was noncommittal.
"I wanted to get them off the turf, been on the turf for two days and it's hard on your legs," Zimmer said. "Might have the doors open Sunday, who knows?"
Rhodes seeing familiar confidence
Xavier Rhodes sees reflections of his younger self in Trae Waynes, the Vikings' third-year cornerback who is quietly coming along in the defense. Waynes is one of the NFL's most effective run-stopping cornerbacks, according to Pro Football Focus, and he leads Vikings corners with eight pass deflections and two interceptions.
"My first couple years, I didn't have the confidence," Rhodes said. "You can see that in Trae now, he's just building that confidence."
Nah, you keep the burn
The "one-chip challenge" made its way into the Vikings locker room on Friday. The Paqui Carolina Reaper Madness chip, claimed to be made with the hottest pepper in the world, attracted many players who tested their taste buds. Defensive tackle Shamar Stephen was not one of them.
"I can do it," Stephen said. "I just don't need to."
Two Vikings fined
Nose tackle Linval Joseph and receiver Stefon Diggs were fined by the NFL for penalties committed Sunday. Joseph's roughing the passer penalty on Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins cost him $18,231. Diggs was fined $12,154 for leaping onto the goal post after a touchdown, which drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.