Amid the hubbub of Teddy Bridgewater taking over as the Vikings quarterback was a definite din regarding the Vikings’ injury situation.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph, the MVP of the Pro Bowl following the 2012 season, will have abdominal surgery, an NFL source said, adding Rudolph aggravated a sports hernia in Sunday’s 20-9 loss at New Orleans. He is expected to miss at least six weeks.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Monday only that Rudolph has a “core” injury and was to be examined in Philadelphia by William Meyers, a surgeon who specializes in such issues and has twice operated on Adrian Peterson.
Quarterback Matt Cassel, who broke bones in his left foot Sunday, will be further evaluated by a foot specialist Thursday, Zimmer said. Also being evaluated is starting right guard Brandon Fusco, who suffered a pectoral injury.
Linebacker Chad Greenway, who played despite a broken left hand, also has a broken rib. Greenway tried to play Sunday but eventually left the game because of the rib issue.
“He had a hard game,” Zimmer said. “That’s my fault. He didn’t practice all week, and then we weren’t sure and thought he could go, so that was my mistake.”
Greenway, who seems unlikely to be in the lineup Sunday against Atlanta, has played in 115 consecutive games since missing his rookie season because of a knee injury. He has started all but one of those games, and that missed start was because the Vikings started in a dime (six defensive backs) defense.
Rudolph, who missed part of last season because of a broken foot, got a five-year, $36.5 million contract extension before the season started. Fusco got a five-year, $24.5 million deal on the eve of the opening game.
Cornerback Josh Robinson (hamstring) and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (shoulder) are also battling injury.
“You never plan on having as many injuries as we have,” Zimmer said. “We’re not going to make excuses about it. I still believe that the best team, the guys that play together, play the hardest, and make the fewest mistakes will win. Our expectation level doesn’t change because of injuries.”
Munnerlyn still miffed
Vikings fans who were upset about the unnecessary roughness penalty on Captain Munnerlyn at the end of the third quarter Sunday have someone who agrees with them: Munnerlyn himself.
The Vikings cornerback said he doesn’t agree with the call, which came after he sacked Drew Brees on third-and-13 with the Saints leading 13-9. Given a first down, the Saints rolled for a touchdown.
Munnerlyn watched the play twice on film and argued, “You can have a guy wrapped up and he can still throw the ball away or try to find an open guy. It’s tough to make that decision … I don’t think it was a great call at all.
“They made the call, I got to live with it. I’m sure I’ll be hearing [about a fine] from the league.”
Munnerlyn added the call was made because Brees is one of the league’s top quarterbacks: “Him and Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, [they’re] like the face of the NFL, but it happened, they called the flag, and I feel like it changed the game for my team.”
Brees thought the hit was from safety Robert Blanton and got up and pushed him.
“And on that note, they can’t allow a quarterback to just get up and get in people’s faces without throwing a flag or nothing on them either,” Munnerlyn said, “so at least it should have been offset, a penalty on them, too.”
Munnerlyn talked to Brees afterwards and said, “I wasn’t trying to throw him on his head, and I told him, ‘Drew, you really sold that penalty, because you didn’t land on your head, you landed on your back.’ ”
Staff writer Matt Vensel contributed to this report.