Well, this is the sort of news that we don't need heading into the biggest game of the year. Per Kevin Seifert:
Both were at Winter Park on the players' day off Tuesday receiving treatment. Winfield suffered a strained pectoral muscle near his left shoulder, and Rice sprained his ankle in the Vikings' 20-13 victory over Chicago on Monday night. The fact the Vikings have a shorter week than normal won't help matters.
Now, Winfield has missed four games this season. The Vikings have gone 3-1 in those games, but the teams they beat in those three victories. . .the Raiders, the Giants, and the Lions. . .aren't going to be mistaken for the 1998 Vikings any time soon. Granted, the Redskins really won't be, either, as they rank 15th in the NFL in passing and are starting their second-string QB. . .who looked awful against a pretty bad Giants' pass defense on Sunday night. . .but it's still not a good thing for Minnesota.
Sidney Rice (sponsored by The Daily Norseman) has only missed one game this season. Thus far in his rookie campaign, he is second on the Vikings in receptions and receiving yardage (trailing Bobby Wade in both categories) and leads the Beloved Purple with 4 touchdown receptions. There was a fear after his injury. . .on a play where he got tangled up with Bears' CB Charles Tillman. . .that he might have broken his ankle, but it appears as though that's not the case.
Hopefully, both of these guys will be ready to play on Sunday night, but at this point I'm not exactly holding my breath on that one. We'll just try to have to make do without them.
Another interesting tidbit from the above article. . .with the 71-yard connection from Tarvaris Jackson to Robert Ferguson against the Bears, the Vikings tied the 1998 Vikings for the most plays over 50 yards in team history. Said completion was the Vikings' 19th play this year of at least 50 yards. . .six kickoff returns, six passes, five runs, and two interception returns.
Yes, the Vikings of Jackson, Rice, Wade, Shiancoe, and Ferguson have as many plays of 50+ yards as the Vikings of Cunningham, Smith, Moss, Carter, and Reed. With as bad as this offense has looked at times this season, that absolutely blows my mind.
And lastly, speaking of those 1998 Vikings, they will almost definitely not be the highest-scoring team in NFL history after this weekend. The 1998 Vikings' record of 556 points in a season has stood for a decade, but this year's Patriots only need to score 34 points in their last two games in order to surpass that. With the 1-13 Dolphins coming to Foxboro on Saturday, they might only need another half of football to accomplish the feat.
That's all for tonight, folks. . .have a good night, and we'll see you tomorrow!