The Vikings were not required to submit an official injury report Tuesday during the team’s first practice after the bye week, but receiver Adam Thielen donned a helmet and ran through warmups with fellow receivers for the first time since reaggravating his hamstring injury Nov. 3 in Kansas City.
With Thielen seemingly on track to return Monday night in Seattle, the Vikings waived receiver Josh Doctson and promoted linebacker Cameron Smith from the practice squad.
Doctson, 26, leaves the Vikings having played just seven snaps in one game — the Nov. 17 win against the Broncos, during which he was not targeted in his return from a hamstring injury. The former 2016 first-round pick by Washington had spent eight weeks on injured reserve after being signed in September.
Smith, the rookie fifth-round pick out of USC, has been signed to the active roster for the second time this season while starting weakside linebacker Ben Gedeon recovers from his second concussion of the year. The Vikings are set with four receivers — Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Olabisi Johnson and Laquon Treadwell — and will not return Chad Beebe to the lineup. Beebe, the second-year pro, recently underwent surgery to repair torn ligaments in an ankle suffered Sept. 22, according to a league source. Beebe tried to rehab the injury without surgery, but the ankle didn’t heal as expected so he had the season-ending operation.
Seven starters sidelined
Thielen was one of two Vikings, including right guard Josh Kline (concussion), to return to practice Tuesday during a relatively light, 45-minute session without pads.
Seven players, including nose tackle Linval Joseph (knee), safety Harrison Smith (hamstring) and running back Dalvin Cook were not seen with helmets at the start of practice open to reporters. Defensive tackle Shamar Stephen, safety Anthony Harris (groin), Gedeon (concussion) and defensive end Everson Griffen also were not seen practicing Tuesday.
Kline has suffered two concussions this season.
Linebacker Eric Kendricks knows it’s a “tight” NFC playoff race for the Vikings, enjoying a two-game cushion for the conference’s sixth and final seed. But Monday night in Seattle will be special for Kendricks beyond potential playoff seeding, because it’s the fourth straight year he’ll get to face his older brother, Seahawks linebacker Mychal Kendricks.
For these games, the Kendricks family has previously worn custom shirts with half of each team’s logo and the family name printed underneath.
“It’s pretty special when I get to see him across the field,” Eric Kendricks said.
Hutchinson HOF semifinalist
Former Vikings guard Steve Hutchinson, a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame the past two years, is a semifinalist for the third straight year, the Hall announced Tuesday.
Hutchinson, a seven-time Pro Bowler and five-time first-team All-Pro selection, is one of three offensive linemen to make the list of 25 modern-era semifinalists. Joining him again are Tony Boselli and Alan Faneca. Boselli and Faneca have been semifinalists five times. A 48-member selection committee will reduce the semifinalist field to 15 finalists. Those names will be released Jan. 2.
The Vikings re-signed fullback Johnny Stanton, the former UNLV quarterback, to the practice squad to replace Smith. Stanton, 25, initially earned a 90-man roster spot as a 2018 tryout player following the draft. He fills a backup role left by rookie fullback Khari Blasingame, who was signed off the Vikings practice squad earlier this month by the Titans.