Second Vikings Starter Injured, Unlikely to Play Against Bills

Cameron Dantzler, Vikings

Getty Cameron Dantzler #27, Xavier Woods #23, Kris Boyd #29 and Josh Metellus #44 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrate against the Dallas Cowboys during a game at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Vikings got some tough news Monday about another defensive starter who is likely to miss at least one game due to injury.

Cornerback Cameron Dantzler suffered an ankle injury that forced him to leave last weekend’s game against the Washington Commanders early. It appears now that the ankle will sideline him again when the Vikings travel to play the Buffalo Bills.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell addressed Dantzler’s projected status for the contest, calling the defensive back a “long shot” to be on the field.

“Cam got an ankle yesterday. I think it’s probably a long shot that he’s available to us this week,” O’Connell said. “It’s kind of in that week to week timeline, but I never say never with our sports medicine staff. … They’re going to pour into Cam, and he’ll attack this thing and see where he’s at as the week goes on. But we definitely want to make sure Cam’s healthy and ready to go when he gets back out there.”

Vikings DT Dalvin Tomlinson in Same Position as Dantzler For Bills Game

Dalvin Tomlinson, Vikings

GettyDefensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson of the Minnesota Vikings tackles quarterback Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter of a game at Lincoln Financial Field on September 19, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

If Dantzler can’t go Sunday against the Bills, he will likely be joining fellow starter and defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson on the sideline.

Tomlinson suffered a calf injury against the Arizona Cardinals on October 30, which caused him to miss Minnesota’s most recent contest against the Commanders. O’Connell compared Tomlinson’s current situation to that of Dantzler’s heading into Week 10.

“I think [Tomlinson] kinda falls in that same category [as Dantzler]. We wanted to see how he progressed last week,” O’Connell explained. “[After] a few more days of treatment, we’ll see if we can possibly have him available to us this weekend.”

“Same type of situation with really where Cam’s at now. Hoping to have [Tomlinson], but I’ll keep you guys updated throughout the week,” he continued. “Just want to make sure he’s healthy and ready to go when we get him back out there so he can hit the ground running for what’s gonna be a pretty grueling stretch here of a lot of games in a short amount of time [with] having already been through our bye week.”

Bills May be Without QB Josh Allen After Elbow Injury

Josh Allen

GettyQuarterback Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills warms up before a game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2, 2022.

Having Tomlinson, Dantzler or both on the field in Buffalo will be a boon for the Vikings if it happens considering the level of talent on the other side of the football. O’Connell also talked on Monday about the challenge the Bills and their quarterback Josh Allen present.

“This is gonna be a real challenge this week. I think when you’ve been able to win some football games that you’ve either had to come from behind or sustain leads, whatever it may be, hopefully we can use some of that success that we found [and] bring it on the road with us against one of the best teams in this league,” O’Connell said. “The expectation is that we’ve got to play one of our best games of the year to go win this thing.”

The Vikings may get some help via an injury to Allen’s elbow, which he sustained during his team’s second loss of the year last Sunday against the New York Jets. For now, the Bills are 6.5-point favorites at home against the Vikings, though Minnesota’s odds will improve markedly if Allen is out or hampered for the game.

If Allen does sit out, Buffalo will start backup quarterback Case Keenum, a former Vikings starter who led Minnesota to the NFC Championship Game following the 2017 season.

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