The Vikings lost an offensive threat Monday in running back Dalvin Cook. But they gained one, too, as veteran receiver Michael Floyd was reinstated from his four-game suspension.
Floyd, who had five catches for 46 yards for the Vikings this preseason, will rejoin his teammates during Thursday’s practice — the first after Sunday’s loss to Detroit. Players were given Tuesday and Wednesday off ahead of Monday night’s game in Chicago.
The 27-year-old former first-round pick mixed in with Vikings starters during training camp, but said he’s unsure of his role heading into his first game with Minnesota. Floyd’s playing time would most likely impact Laquon Treadwell, who has been the primary third receiver in the offense.
“Whatever they say goes,” Floyd said. “I’ll be ready. I’m in shape. I feel great. I’m ready to start.”
Floyd’s involvement with the team has been limited the past four weeks. He’s been in team meetings, but his on-field work was left to whatever he could do on his own.
“Taking a lot of mental reps in the meeting room,” Floyd said. “And then going out by myself and going through the script, going through practice and full-speed routes, doing what I’d be doing if I were out with the fellas.”
A recent NFL rule change allowed Floyd, suspended for violating the substance abuse policy, to attend Vikings meetings as the league aimed to better help players recover from substance problems. Floyd was suspended for pleading guilty to extreme DUI. He was found unconscious at the wheel of his vehicle with a .217 blood-alcohol content in December.
“From my teammates up to the head man, I think they believe in me and what I can do, my ability,” Floyd said. “But also just putting everything behind me and moving forward. That was the past. There’s no looking back. It’s all positive from here.”
Bradford’s status unclear
Quarterback Sam Bradford’s injured left knee could keep him out of a fourth game Monday night in Chicago. The Vikings will need to see how Bradford’s knee responds this week and if he can practice.
“Yeah, I mean again it’s day-to-day,” coach Mike Zimmer said. “Feels better. Everything he’s doing is feeling better, but obviously we don’t know.”
The Vikings are 1-2 through three games with backup quarterback Case Keenum, who completed 16 passes for 219 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Lions.
Trubisky up next
The Bears will give rookie No. 2-overall pick Mitchell Trubisky his first NFL start under center against the Vikings on Monday night. Chicago benched starter Mike Glennon after last week’s 35-14 loss to the Packers when he got picked off twice, lost a fumble on a sack and had another snap ricochet off his knee for a lost fumble.
In the preseason, Trubisky completed 36 of 53 passes for 364 yards and three touchdowns.
“I don’t think they will give us dropback passes at all, but who knows?” defensive end Everson Griffen said. “We really haven’t broke down the tape yet. But I feel like they’re going to run the ball, play-action, and we’ve got to stop the run and force them into passing situations.”
A bad history
Since Y2K, Soldier Field has been a forgetful trip for the Vikings. Minnesota is 3-14 since the turn of the millennium at Chicago, where they’ll again seek their first NFC North win of the season.
The Vikings’ last trip was especially depressing when Bears running back Jordan Howard ran wild and the Vikings offense was stymied in a 20-10 loss — also broadcast nationally on a Monday night.
“I don’t remember that game at all,” cornerback Xavier Rhodes said. “I just know we lost and 24 [Howard] had a long run, right?”