Laquon Treadwell will likely return to the Vikings lineup against the Bears, but the receiver’s future in Minnesota beyond Sunday is murky after the former first-round pick was a healthy scratch in Detroit for the first time since his rookie season.
Receiver Chad Beebe (hamstring) has been ruled out, clearing the path for Treadwell.
“That was a learning experience. I ain’t expect it. It was definitely eye-opening,” Treadwell said Friday. “Every week is different. Worked extremely hard this week, prepared hard. My hometown, Chicago, in town. Family is going to be in town. Try to go out there, do my best and see what happens.”
Treadwell divvied up all 10 tickets he was allotted to family and friends visiting from Chicago, where he graduated from high school south of the city in Crete, Ill.
Treadwell, who has a career-high 34 catches for 295 yards this season, said he’d like to stay in Minnesota. His rookie contract runs through 2019, but it carries a salary cap charge of $3.1 million. The Vikings can save more than $650,000 of that if he’s cut after this season.
“I would love to be here,” Treadwell said. “I was actually talking to my girlfriend, saying I wish this game didn’t involve like guys getting paid and we all played for brotherhood, because it’s a great brotherhood. I don’t really know how it’ll pan out, but I’d love to be here for my teammates.”
Linebacker Eric Kendricks is another Viking ruled out against the Bears. Kendricks was unable to practice again this week because of a hamstring injury suffered Dec. 16 against the Dolphins. Linebacker Eric Wilson is expected to step into Kendricks’ role in the often-used nickel defense.
“He played a lot against Chicago when [Anthony] Barr didn’t play the first time,” coach Mike Zimmer said.
“Eric is a good football player, and we expect him to do a great job.”
Cornerback Xavier Rhodes (groin) returned to practice Friday and was limited. He’s listed questionable to play, as is guard Tom Compton (shoulder), who was limited in practices this week. Fullback C.J. Ham (elbow) has been ruled out.
The Bears likely will be without leading receiver Allen Robinson (ribs) and Pro Bowl safety Eddie Jackson (ankle). Both are listed doubtful for Chicago.
Zylstra to field punts
Receiver Brandon Zylstra will fill in at punt returner with both Marcus Sherels (foot) and Beebe (hamstring) ruled out for Sunday.
Zylstra had one return for 8 yards against the Lions and was rocked on another return that drew a catch interference penalty in Detroit.
Ball security is the biggest emphasis for Zylstra, who has adjusted to NFL rules after returning punts in the Canadian Football League.
“I’ve been catching them for weeks now,” Zylstra said. “I feel comfortable back there.”
• The Vikings have prepared for Bears backup quarterback Chase Daniel, who could play if head coach Matt Nagy decides to rest Mitch Trubisky at any point Sunday. “There were three games on Daniel we watched,” Zimmer said.
• Actor Joel McKinnon Miller, a Minnesota native starring in the TV show Brooklyn Nine-Nine, will sing the national anthem before Sunday’s kickoff at U.S. Bank Stadium.