Injuries continue to pile up on offense, where the Vikings will be without another starter along the line Sunday against the Texans.
Right tackle Andre Smith, who suffered a triceps injury on his sixth snap Monday night against the Giants, has been held out of practice all week and will not play Sunday. On Friday, Smith said he does not expect his injury to hold him back long term.
“We’ll reevaluate next week,” head coach Mike Zimmer said of Smith’s injury.
Jeremiah Sirles has filled in for Smith during practice and is in line for his first start since his 2014 rookie season, when he was with the San Diego Chargers.
Sirles has emerged as a versatile replacement for the Vikings. He filled in admirably in consecutive weeks, first for Alex Boone at left guard in Carolina before Smith needed a replacement at right tackle on Monday night.
“He played well again,” Zimmer said earlier this week. “The thing about him is he’s going to battle all night long. He had some bad plays like everybody. He’s a battler, it’s important to him.”
Receiver Stefon Diggs is officially listed as doubtful after missing practice this week due to a lingering groin injury. Diggs is the Vikings’ leading receiver with 25 catches for 372 yards.
Should Diggs be held out, receiver Jarius Wright could be involved once again as the team’s former primary slot receiver from 2013-2015. Wright has been a healthy scratch three of four weeks this season.
Options are also wearing thin at tight end, where Rhett Ellison (knee) and David Morgan (knee) have not practiced all week. Ellison is officially listed as doubtful and Morgan as out. To compensate in the run game, fullback Zach Line could see extra work against the Texans.
The undefeated Vikings (4-0) have already lost quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, running back Adrian Peterson and left tackle Matt Kalil to injured reserve.
Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd has also been ruled out for Sunday after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last week.