Going into their game this week against the Chicago Bears, the Minnesota Vikings. . .and their fans. . .are hoping for the return of linebacker Anthony Barr, defensive tackle Linval Joseph, and safety Harrison Smith.
From what we saw at Vikings' practice on Wednesday, in the words of latter-day American philosopher Marvin Aday. . .well, two outta three ain't bad.
According to numerous sources, though I think Mark Craig of the Star-Tribune is where I saw it first, Smith was back and practicing in full pads on Wednesday afternoon. Joseph wasn't in pads, but was seen jogging through individual drills. Unfortunately, Barr was not present at the open portion of Wednesday's practice.
In addition to those three players, defensive ends Everson Griffen and Scott Crichton both went through stretching, but not individual drills. We're not entirely sure what the nature of their injuries are at this point, but the Vikings will be releasing their first official injury report for the week sometime today. That should shed a little more light on things.
It's going to be interesting to see who will start at safety next to Smith (assuming he's back on Sunday). Andrew Sendejo, who also missed the Arizona game, is back at practice for the team, and the assumption might be that he'll just slide back into his starting role. But rookie Anthony Harris showed a lot of good things in his NFL debut last Thursday night, and should probably be in line for more playing time as well. Antone Exum got the initial chance to replace Sendejo, but he's now on injured reserve.
Again, we'll be keeping tabs on the Vikings' injury situation as the week continues.