By Joseph Gunther
Harrison Smith did not miss a play last Thursday at Lambeau Field. He played all 54 defensive snaps in the blow out loss to the Green Bay Packers.
The third-year safety stayed in the game even after suffering an injury with two minutes and 49 seconds remaining in the first quarter. He rolled his ankle while blitzing on a third-down play. Smith did not make the play on Aaron Rodgers, but he forced the quarterback to scramble into a sack by Sharrif Floyd.
“It really has improved every day,” Smith said via the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “So that’s all I can ask for.”
Smith had an MRI, but head coach Mike Zimmer said no significant damage was found. The coach also believes Smith will not miss much time.
“He’s healed pretty quick,” Zimmer said. “It’s been good. And he’s tough. He’s a tough guy.”
After Thursday’s practice, Smith became more confident that he will miss Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions at TCF Bank Stadium.
“Just trying to get my foot (some work) and see how it feels,” Smith said. “It went pretty well. … I practiced like normal, just not as many reps.”
It is unclear who would replace Smith in the starting lineup, but Andrew Sendejo has been working in Smith’s position in practice. The veteran backup, however, could be closing in on he starting spot opposite Smith. Sendejo has been a special teams standout since joining the Vikings in 2011.
“We look at everybody,” Zimmer said. “He’s done a good job on special teams, and he has a knack for finding the football.”
Linebacker Chad Greenway has not practiced since Sept. 19 due to rib and hand injuries. The team needs to see where he is at on Friday before determining his status. He likely needs to practice in some form in order to avoid missing his third straight game.
The team believe is getting close after doing running drills during Wednesday’s practice. Zimmer said the veteran is “starting to be pain-free.”
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is becoming less of a concern with each day. He has not been officially declared back in the starting lineup, but he has been a full participant and highly likely to play.
The Lions listed running back Reggie Bush (ankle), tight end Joseph Fauria (ankle), wide receiver Calvin Johnson (ankle) and linebacker Travis Lewis (quadricep) as non-participants in Thursday’s practice. They listed safety Jerome Couplin (ribs), running back Joique Bell (concussion), running back Theo Riddick (hamstring) and cornerback Cassius Vaughn as full participants in Thursday’s practice.
The Complete injury Report
The Vikings listed Greenway (hand/rib) and tight end Kyle Rudolph (abdomen/groin) as non-participants in Thursday’s practice.
The team listed Smith (ankle), wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (hip) and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (elbow) as limited participants in Thursday’s practice.
They listed quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (ankle), running back Jerick McKinnon (ankle), linebacker Michael Mauti (foot) and running back Matt Asiata (groin) as full participants in Thursday’s practice.
For more Vikings news and updates, visit Vikings Central.
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.