Vikings Rule Out 2 Key Players on Defense, Cardinals Injury Report

Getty Images Everson Griffen celebrates a sack against the then-Oakland Raiders in 2019.

The Minnesota Vikings suffered a couple of hits to their defense before their matchup against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2.

Starting linebacker Anthony Barr and defensive end Everson Griffen have been ruled out. This is Barr’s second straight game of unavailability.

Griffen’s injury is pretty noteworthy in that he received a concussion due to a car accident when he swerved to miss a deer, reports ESPN’s Vikings reporter Courtney Cronin.

Everson Griffen was involved in a car accident on his way into the practice facility on Thursday. Mike Zimmer said the DE swerved to miss a deer in the road. It’s why he showed up on the injury report with a concussion.

The four-time Pro Bowler and long-time Viking signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020. He was traded to the Detroit Lions during the season. The Vikings brought Griffen back in 2021 and was a part of initial cuts, but resigned a few days later on September 2. While Griffen isn’t the same player who had 74.5 sacks in his first Vikings stint, he did record eight sacks just two seasons ago and replaced Nick Bosa in the Pro Bowl.

Middle linebacker Eric Kendricks is ruled questionable for Sunday as well with a quadriceps injury. He didn’t practice on Thursday and it’d be a loss if he weren’t able to play. Kendricks had a league-best 15 tackles in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Vikings’ first-round pick offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw was ruled out for a second straight week after having groin surgery in the offseason.

Booming Cardinals’ Offense

Kyler Murray and company could have a field day again after hearing the news out of Minnesota. Minnesota’s front still has Danielle Hunter, Dalvin Tomlinson and Michael Pierce, but they weren’t exactly dominating against a bad Bengals offensive line.

Joe Burrow’s first game after his ACL injury from a year ago resulted in a passer rating of 128.8 and completed 74.1% of his passes in their overtime win. It’s safe to say we expect points for the Cardinals on Sunday.

But the cornerback room is the one area that has an obvious issue. Bashaud Breeland gave up 107 yards against the Bengals, which was the second most yards given up by a corner in Week 1.

With Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore at Kliff Kingsbury’s disposal, this could be a long game for Minnesota. The Cards scored 38 points on the Titans on the road and will have their home crowd on their side for Week 2. You obviously want to see everyone healthy, but the Cardinals could be seeing the Vikings at an ideal time.

Cardinals Injury Report

The Cardinals’ injury report on September 16 ahead of a Week 2 matchup with the Vikings included starting right tackle Kelvin Beachum not practicing on Thursday for a second straight day. Beachum had a rib injury and was taken out in the third quarter of the season opener.

On September 17, Beachum returned to practice. But coach Kliff Kingsbury is saying he will be a game-time decision. If Beachum were to miss Sunday’s game, Justin Murray would get the start at right tackle. Murray started most of the 2019 season with Arizona at the position. When Beachum left the third quarter against the Titans, Murray was adequate and wasn’t noticeable, which is a good thing.

Linebacker Devon Kennard was ruled out due to a hamstring injury. He played only 13 total snaps (20%) on Sunday. With Kennard’s injury, you could very well see an uptick in playing time for rookie Zaven Collins. Fellow linebacker Isaiah Simmons should also be everywhere as expected.

The Cardinals have been lucky so far when it comes to injuries, but the NFL season is still very long to make anything possible.

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