Vikings Starter Suffers Serious Injury, to Miss More Time Than Expected

Kevin O'Connell

Getty The Vikings lost rookie cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. for the season.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell did not hesitate when it came to the health of his franchise left tackle.

Christian Darrisaw, who suffered his second concussion in as many weeks against the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday, was ruled out immediately for Week 12 with only a five-day turnaround before the team’s primetime, Thanksgiving day matchup with the New England Patriots.

Darrisaw cleared concussion protocol the previous week, while rookie Akayleb Evans missed the Cowboys game despite landing in the protocol the same day as Darrisaw.

However, with Darrisaw’s second concussion, he’s not expected to make nearly as timely of a return — spelling trouble for the Vikings offensive front that struggled without him in an embarrassing 40-3 loss to Dallas.

KSTP’s Darren Wolfson spoke to a source close to Darrisaw and weighed in on his expectations of Darrisaw’s recovery.

Vikings Left Tackle Christian Darrisaw Expected to Miss Multiple Games

On a November 22 episode of the SKOR North podcast, Wolfson offered an update on Darrisaw, expressing the second-year tackle could miss more than just Thursday’s game against the Patriots.

“Somebody I trust somebody who knows Darrisaw well, he said, ‘S***, we’ll be alright.’ Darrisaw is still feeling [like] s****. It’s certainly tracking toward not just a one-game absence,” Wolfson said before adding that he doesn’t believe it to be a season-ending injury despite the precautions taken with head injuries in this day and age.

SKOR North’s Judd Zulgad was apprehensive that could be a monthlong wait for Darrisaw to return, however, a recent example of back-to-back concussions brought only a two-game absence by Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

The Vikings do have the luxury of a mini-bye week with their Week 13 matchup with the New York Jets falling 10 days after their Thanksgiving day game. If Darrisaw cannot go that game, his next chance to return to the starting lineup would be against the Detroit Lions on December 11.

The league updated its concussion protocol following Tagovailoa’s head injury during the Buffalo Bills game in Week 3, however, it shouldn’t impact Darrisaw’s recovery and process through the stages of the protocol.

Other Vikings Injury Updates

Evans, who has yet to clear concussion protocol since being knocked out of Minnesota’s game against the Bills on November 13, will miss Thursday’s game against the Patriots as well.

Fellow rookie cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. was also ruled out with a knee injury, thrusting fourth-string Duke Shelley into the starting spot opposite of Patrick Peterson with starter Cam Dantzler still on the injured reserve list with an ankle injury. Shelley has played 11 defensive snaps this season but shined against Buffalo by breaking up a pass in the end zone the play before Peterson’s game-clinching, overtime interception.

Dalvin Tomlinson is listed as questionable ahead of Thursday night’s matchup with New England after missing the past two games with a quad injury.

Za’Darius Smith (knee) and Justin Jefferson (toe) were listed as limited in practice earlier this week but were full participants at Wednesday’s final practice.

However, despite being taken off the injury report, Smith’s knee has lingered throughout the season and the Vikings may put him on a pitch count with the postseason approaching. He played just 25 snaps last Sunday against Dallas, which was a mix of both keeping his health in check and the game getting out of hand.

D.J. Wonnum should be in line to take some of Smith’s workload.

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