By Joseph Gunther
The Minnesota Vikings finished their win over the St. Louis Rams without a pair of second-year first round draft picks. However, both will likely play in the team’s home opener on Sunday against the New England Patriots.READ MORE: Judge To Decide On Evidence Allowed At Kyle Rittenhouse Trial
Sharrif Floyd, selected 23rd overall in the 2013 draft, suffered a shoulder injury and was held out of practice both Wednesday and Thursday. But, reading between the lines of his comments, he wants to get back on the field.
“Coach’s decision,” Floyd told Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star Tribune prior to Thursday’s practice. “It’s up to him. Not my call.”
If Floyd is unable to play fourth-year veteran Tom Johnson would start in his place. Johnson had two tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in the win over the Rams.
“We’ll know more tomorrow and the next day,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said about Friday and Saturday.
He also told Vensel that his availability for Sunday’s game will be up to the coach and not him.
Xavier Rhodes, taken two picks after Floyd, missed Wednesday’s practice, but returned Thursday in a limited capacity.
“He was alright,” Zimmer said. “We’re just getting him in some of the stuff.”
Rhodes set Friday as the date to watch for his Sunday availability before practice on Wednesday.
“If I’m ready to go by Friday, I can’t sit there and worry about the injury,” Rhodes said. “I have to go out there and play. I can’t sit there and think about the injury.”
The Vikings also lost during cornerback Josh Robinson to a leg injury in Sunday’s win, but it was not a factor when the Vikings returned to work on Monday.READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: Severe Weather Threat Fizzles, But More Heavy Rainfall Coming Overnight
“Oh, he’s fine,” Zimmer responded to a question about Robinson’s health during his Monday press conference.
Rookie cornerback Jabari Price (hamstring) also found his way onto the injury report this week, but the seventh round draft pick was a full participant all week.
The importance of the three cornerbacks is heightened by the Patriots offensive scheme. The Patriots will play multiple wide receivers and no fullback with quarterback Tom Brady in shotgun often. They will try to create mismatches in the secondary.
According to Ben Goessling of ESPN reported Adrian Peterson left practice on Thursday after warmups, but the Vikings say it was not injury related.
The Patriots had six players on their injury following Thursday’s practice, all of them were limited. Tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee) headlines the group. He is joined by offensive linemen Ryan Wendell (knee), defensive linemen Michael Buchanan (ankle), Chris Jones (ankle) and Sealver Siliga (hand) as well as linebacker Jamie Collins (thigh). Brady was on Wednesday’s report with a calf injury, but was not on Thursday’s.
The Complete Injury Report
The Vikings listed defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (shoulder) and linebacker Brandon Watts (knee) as non-participants in Thursday’s practice.
The team listed offensive tackle Mike Harris (shoulder), guard Charlie Johnson (ankle), fullback Zach Line (ankle), linebacker Michael Mauti (foot) and cornerback Xavier Rhodes (groin) as limited participants in Thursday’s practice.
They listed cornerback Jabari Price (hamstring) as full participants in Thursday’s practice.
For more Vikings news and updates, visit Vikings Central.MORE NEWS: What Is The Key To A Long Life?
Joseph Gunther is an avid fan of Minnesota sports, including football, hockey and baseball. He covered a wide variety of sports while attending Hastings College in Hastings, Neb. While at Hastings College, he was a part of the first collegiate media group to broadcast a national tournament via television, radio, internet and newspaper at the 2004 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament. He grew up in the Twin Cities playing three years of varsity football in high school. Joseph is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.