Once again, the Vikings will be thin at cornerback after ruling out three players ahead of Sunday’s game vs. the Lions.
Rookie Cameron Dantzler remains in the concussion protocol after a scary collision that left him carted off the field last week in Green Bay. He was unable to practice this week and won’t play, neither will corners Mark Fields (chest) or Holton Hill (foot).
Hill has not practiced since Oct. 7, when the foot issue initially popped up on the weekly injury reports, and will miss his fourth game. Fields suffered a “pinhole puncture” of his lung during a tackle last week, a source told the Star Tribune, and was placed on injured reserve later Friday. He would miss at least the next three games.
That leaves cornerbacks Jeff Gladney, Kris Boyd and Harrison Hand, who is questionable while limited by a hamstring injury, as the most experienced options in coach Mike Zimmer’s defense.
“It’s pretty much status quo now, every week it’s like this,” Zimmer said Friday. “But we feel good about the guys that are out there. They had a good week of practices. They just got to go out there and perform in the game.”
Cornerback Chris Jones, acquired off waivers from the Lions last month, is expected to make his Vikings debut against his former team after his first week of practices. Jones may play a role for a shorthanded secondary, which is more certain if the rookie Hand (questionable) can’t play.
Jones, at 25 years old with three NFL starts, is among the Vikings’ most experienced available corners.
“[Jones] has done a nice job,” Zimmer said. “He’s a guy that’s played before, so he’s got a pretty good feel for understanding concepts and route combinations and things like that.”
Vikings’ injury report:Dantzler (concussion), Fields (chest) and Hill (foot) have been ruled out; Hand (hamstring) is questionable.
Lions’ injury report:WR Kenny Golladay (hip), RB/WR Jamal Agnew (ribs), DB Tracy Walker (foot) have been ruled out; LB Christian Jones (knee), G Joe Dahl (back), CB Darryl Roberts (groin/hip) and OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai (foot) are questionable.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford remains on Detroit’s reserve/COVID-19 list after being isolated as a close contact, but he can return Sunday to face the Vikings if he continues to test negative. The Lions announced Friday that a staff member had tested positive for the coronavirus, but had not been at the team facility in the past 48 hours.