Vikings Insider Reveals Hazy Update on 6-Time Pro Bowler

Harrison smith

Getty Vikings safety Harrison Smith

The Minnesota Vikings were missing three starters last week in their loss to the Detroit Lions.

As upsetting as the loss was, it is necessary for this team to get healthy with a playoff appearance in the bank, which is the train of thought head coach Kevin O’Connell had when holding out left tackle Christian Darrisaw, center Garrett Bradbury and safety Harrison Smith.

“In a game where we were coming in with everything we had, we still wanted to be smart as we get into December with some of our players that have been banged up,” O’Connell said, per ESPN.

The good news is Darrisaw and Bradbury are expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts.

However, Smith doesn’t have the same certainty.

Vikings’ Harrison Smith Working Back From Neck Injury Ahead of Colts Matchup

On December 12, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert reported that O’Connell expects Darrisaw and Bradbury to be back on the field on Saturday.

Smith, dealing with a “lingering” neck injury that wasn’t on any injury report this season until Friday, is also a “strong candidate” to play, however, the Vikings will “see how he progresses through a short week,” Seifert said. Smith suffered the injury on December 4 against the New York Jets, and it flared up last week after he had an illness designation as well.

Neck injuries have proven fickle in the past and are much more than a bit of bruising. While the Vikings are taking Smith’s return cautiously, his absence was evident in last week’s loss to the Lions.

The Vikings allowed 464 yards of offense and got off to a rough start when safety Cam Bynum allowed Detroit wide receiver Jameson Williams to fly by him for a 41-yard touchdown reception, the first catch of his NFL career.

Smith was limited last Friday with the neck injury and, on a short week, won’t have as many opportunities to put forth a full day of practice. O’Connell said he’ll progress back to full strength this week.

“Between the illness last week and the neck, it was just a lot for him to try to make it for the game,” O’Connell said of Smith, per the Star Tribune. “He will progress back in this week, as well.”

 Other Notable Vikings Injuries

Backup tackle Blake Brandel suffered an MCL tear on Sunday against the Lions that will keep him out for at least four weeks. Darrisaw’s return to the lineup remedies the need for Brandel at left tackle, however, that’s banking on a clean bill of health for both tackle spots moving forward. Oli Udoh would be the next tackle up.

Veteran linebacker Jordan Hicks is dealing with foot and ankle injuries and underwent an MRI on Monday. He was limited in practice on Tuesday. Defensive tackle James Lynch is nursing a shoulder injury and is considered “day-to-day” along with Hicks.

Cornerback Cameron Dantzler (illness) and defensive tackle Harrison Phillips (back) did not practice on Tuesday. O’Connell did not have any updates on the two additions to the injury report on Tuesday.

Read More