Linebacker Eric Kendricks missed Wednesday’s practice because of a foot injury, taking one Vikings defensive starter out of the lineup just as cornerback Mike Hughes returned.
Kendricks, the Vikings’ leading tackler and one of two defenders to not miss a snap in four games this season, was not seen at practice while other injured teammates worked with trainers on a side field.
Linebacker options were down to Eric Wilson, Hardy Nickerson Jr., Todd Davis and Ryan Connelly, after Anthony Barr’s season ended in Week 2 because of a torn pectoral muscle.
Kendricks is scheduled to talk with reporters Thursday, which injured players expected to miss significant time typically don’t do. Receiver K.J. Osborn also was held out Wednesday, because of a hamstring injury.
The defense got good news as Hughes was able to handle a full practice after a two-game absence because of a neck injury; his 2019 season ended because of a fractured vertebra. With Hughes back in the fold, the Vikings could have their full complement of cornerbacks for the first time since their Week 1 loss to Green Bay.
Cornerbacks Kris Boyd (hamstring), who didn’t play against the Texans, and Holton Hill (foot) were listed as limited in practice.
They’ll need all the help they can get for Sunday night’s game in Seattle; Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson leads the league with 16 touchdown passes.
“These young guys are getting better,” head coach Mike Zimmer said. “[Jeff] Gladney has probably got the most on his plate because he’s got to do nickel and outside, but I thought Holton [Hill] did a much better job this week and [Cameron] Dantzler going in there, I thought he made some good plays.”
Receiver Adam Thielen (shoulder) and tackle Oli Udoh (finger) also were limited in practice.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday that safety Jamal Adams will miss his second straight game because of a groin injury.
Right tackle Brian O’Neill said the Vikings offensive line has done some good things, and there “are a lot of different technical things that we have to clean up.” That candid assessment reflects the Vikings’ 22nd-ranked offense, which has topped 400 yards and 30 points in consecutive weeks but was previously outclassed against the Packers and Colts defensive fronts.
The Seahawks defense isn’t in that stratosphere anymore, giving the Vikings another decent matchup after running through the Texans.
“Maximize the good plays and limit the bad ones is always going to be the struggle, but I’m confident in our group moving forward,” O’Neill said. “I’m confident we’re going to continue to try to push the needle in practice and get better every week, because that’s all you can do.”
Boone wins award
Mike Boone’s effort to outrun Texans blockers and hit the ball out of DeAndre Carter’s hands earned him his first NFC special teams player of the week award.
Boone’s forced fumble, recovered by receiver Dan Chisena, set up the Vikings offense for a quick field goal drive at the end of the first quarter of Sunday’s 31-23 win.
A reserve running back, Boone plays a leading role on special teams, ranking fourth on the team with 61 snaps in four games. He is the first non-kicking Viking to earn the honor since former punt returner Marcus Sherels in 2015.
• An official NFL stat correction on Wednesday credited defensive end Yannick Ngakoue with a second-quarter sack of Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, giving Ngakoue four of the Vikings’ seven sacks as a defense. It was previously a “team” sack.
• Zimmer was asked if Vikings coaches are keeping track of all the tackles Dalvin Cook is breaking: “We always chart that. But that’s more for Pro Football Focus, I think.”