GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Vikings defense will be missing another contributor in cornerback Cameron Dantzler, who is officially inactive ahead of Sunday night's game at Lambeau Field.
Dantzler was a midweek addition to the injury report with a calf issue, causing him to miss practices Thursday and Friday. He'll be replaced by third-year cornerback Kris Boyd, who is making his sixth NFL start opposite Patrick Peterson. The team also has slot corner Mackensie Alexander, and reserves Harrison Hand and Tye Smith.
Boyd, the 2019 seventh-round pick, hasn't yet started a game this season, but he's played 102 defensive snaps in relief and rotation. He's played unevenly. Boyd has been credited with 20 tackles (16 solo) and no deflections or interceptions, while drawing four flags (one declined).
Nose tackle Michael Pierce has already been ruled out due to an unspecified illness that kept him from practicing Friday. Nose tackle Armon Watts will start for a shorthanded defensive line that is also without rookie defensive end Patrick Jones, who is on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Tight end Tyler Conklin (hamstring) and linebacker Chazz Surratt (illness) were listed questionable, but are active and available to play.
The Vikings are 13-point underdogs, the largest spread against them under head coach Mike Zimmer, with Sean Mannion starting for Kirk Cousins at quarterback. Cousins, Jones and linebacker Nick Vigil remained quarantined on the COVID list at kickoff.
A loss against the Packers officially eliminates the Vikings (7-8) from playoff contention.
Zimmer's Vikings as (huge) underdogs
+13 at Green Bay, 2021
QB: Sean Mannion
+10 at New Orleans, 2014
QB: Matt Cassel, Teddy Bridgewater
Result: 20-9 loss
+8.5 at Arizona, 2015
QB: Teddy Bridgewater
Result: 23-20 loss
+8.5 at Pittsburgh, 2017
QB: Case Keenum
Result: 26-9 loss
Vikings' inactives: Pierce (illness), Dantzler (calf), QB Kyle Sloter, RB Wayne Gallman, G Wyatt Davis and DE Tashawn Bower
Packers' inactives: LT David Bakhtiari (knee), G/T Billy Turner (knee), S Shawn Davis, S Vernon Scott and DT Jack Hefli
Green Bay placed cornerback Jaire Alexander, who was already ruled out because of a shoulder injury, on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Sunday.