The Vikings will have cornerback Kris Boyd for Sunday’s game against the Titans, leaving the defense down just two cornerbacks.
Boyd was limited in practices due to a hamstring injury suffered midweek, and is expected to play a role after being listed questionable to play. The second-year Boyd may be the third corner behind Holton Hill and Jeff Gladney, as Mike Hughes (neck) and Cameron Dantzler (rib) are inactive due to injuries.
The Vikings are also shuffling receiver depth, deactivating Tajae Sharpe against his former team as well as rookie K.J. Osborn, who handled returning duties in the first two games. Chad Beebe is active for his first game this season and is expected to return punts, while running back Ameer Abdullah can return kicks.
Running back Mike Boone has cleared the concussion protocol and is active against the Titans. Boone suffered a concussion during last week’s loss in Indianapolis.
Vikings’ inactives:Hughes (neck), Dantzler (rib), Sharpe, Osborn, DT James Lynch, DE Eddie Yarbrough and OT Oli Udoh
The Titans will be without receiver A.J. Brown (knee) for a second straight game, while edge rusher Vic Beasley will make his debut after missing the first two games with a knee injury.
Titans’ inactives:Brown (knee), CB Chris Jackson (hamstring), DE Matt Dickerson, OLB Derick Roberson (illness), C Aaron Brewer and TE Geoff Swaim
For the first time in the second home game this season, the Vikings are hosting the maximum 250 ‘fans’ — staff and family members — allowed under state COVID-19 regulations. They’re doing so to test fan protocols “in preparation for the potential return of fans to home games later this season,” a team spokesperson said.
“All attendees will be located in sections 131-135 in order to replicate a seating "pod" scenario,” a team statement read. “We will focus on testing mobile ticketing, stadium ingress/egress, cashless concession stands and other game day procedures. Everyone in attendance will be required to wear face coverings and follow social distancing rules.”
Possible fan attendance for the Vikings’ Oct. 18 home game against the Falcons and the remaining five home games has not yet been announced.
The Vikings’ homefield “crowd noise” will also be cranked up slightly to 80 decibels — still well below what U.S. Bank Stadium can reach, hitting 116 decibels during its 2016 opener. The team will also use the Gjallarhorn on third downs.
Previously, NFL guidelines capped artificial crowd noise at 70 decibels, but adjusted protocols allow for a slightly louder recording and, for teams with at least 2,500 fans, now don’t require the recordings at all.