The Minnesota Vikings defense will be short two starters on Sunday against arguably the league’s best offense.
Starting defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson will miss his second straight game after suffering a calf injury in Week 8. Meanwhile, third-year cornerback Cameron Dantzler was also ruled out on November 11 with an ankle injury, per a team release.
Minnesota will have its hands full facing the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The Bills enter the game ranked third in points and first in yards on offense this season behind the play of quarterback Josh Allen.
Allen is ailing with an elbow injury that’s left him questionable for the game, which could be the break the Vikings’ defense needs with Tomlinson and Dantzler out.
Adam Thielen and Garrett Bradbury landed on the injury report earlier in the week with ankle injuries. Both players were full participants in practice and enter Sunday’s game without an injury designation.
Case Keenum Addresses Starting Against Vikings
With Allen considered a game-time decision on Sunday, sports bettors who once saw the Bills as a runaway favorite have quickly come down to a 4.5-point line favoring Buffalo, per BetMGM.
Buffalo’s team is just that good, even without its young superstar quarterback.
If Allen can’t go, former Vikings quarterback Case Keenum will make his first start of the season against the team he helped bring to the NFC Championship in 2018.
Keenum addressed the potential of facing the Vikings, which he treated nonchalantly after the veteran quarterback has played with seven different teams in his career.
“I’ve played a lot of my former teams before,” he told reporters on November 10. “That’s what happens when you have a lot of former teams.”
Despite the calmed tone Keenum has approaching the game, it’s undeniable Stefon Diggs and him will be at least somewhat sentimental after the two produced one of the greatest moments in sports together.
And Diggs is confident Keenum can make just as many plays as Allen can come Sunday.
“He’s a winner. He’s a dog… he gives you that confidence that you can win,” Diggs said of Keenum, per 13WHAM‘s Dan Fetes.
“Diggs says he sees similarities between Josh Allen and Case Keenum with their ability to run out of the pocket,” Bills reporter Maddy Glab tweeted.
Bills Offer Vikings a Measuring Stick Entering Final Stretch of Season
Regardless of Allen’s status, the Vikings face potentially their toughest test of the season in Buffalo.
The offense embarks on a road matchup where it will face the stingiest defense in the NFL led by Von Miller. Buffalo has allowed a league-low 14.8 points per game and also the fourth-fewest yards per game (299.6). The Vikings offense has ascended into the top 10, posting the eighth-most points per game (24.1) this season. The addition of tight end T.J. Hockenson is sure to help improve upon those numbers as well.
The Kirk Cousins-led offense has also allowed the fifth-fewest turnovers this season and will be put to the test against Buffalo’s defense, which has forced the third-most turnovers in the league entering Week 10.