First, center Joe Berger went down early with a concussion. Then right tackle Jeremiah Sirles injured his hip in a pileup.
The Vikings’ snakebitten offensive line remained just that on Thanksgiving Day during the 16-13 loss in Detroit. Berger is now in the concussion protocol while Sirles’ hip is being evaluated after he left late in the game and did not return.
“Just one of those things, piles roll on piles,” Sirles said after the game. “I’m going to go get checked out, but I’m hoping it’s nothing serious.”
Rookie fourth-round pick Willie Beavers, whom the Vikings cut after training camp, became the sixth offensive tackle to see playing time this season when he replaced Sirles.
Center Nick Easton filled in for Berger and played most of the game. Quarterback Sam Bradford was not sacked behind a game plan that aimed to get the ball out as quickly as possible.
Earlier this week, Bradford knocked on the podium and said “knock on wood” when asked about Berger’s consistency. He was the only remaining Vikings starting lineman who had played every snap this season before Sunday’s loss.
“Sometimes I don’t have words for it,” guard Alex Boone said. “But proud of Nick the way he stepped up. Willie came in when two guys went down, next man up mentality. Guys have proven they can play in this league and want to play in this league. I hope Joe and Sirles are OK, but now it’s on to Dallas.”
Beavers is the Vikings’ 10th offensive lineman overall to see extended playing time through 11 games this season.
“I’m hoping everything’s going to be OK,” Sirles said. “I’m going to do everything I can to fight and hopefully not miss any time.”