One of the more frightening moments of the young season for the Minnesota Vikings was the injury suffered by cornerback Xavier Rhodes on Sunday afternoon against the San Diego Chargers. Rhodes got beaten by receiver Keenan Allen on a long pass near the end of the first half, and as he attempted to bring Allen down, he collided with teammate Andrew Sendejo. Rhodes was down on the turf for a while, but eventually got to the locker room under his own power before being ruled out for the afternoon with a concussion.
However, it appears that Rhodes could be back sooner rather than later. . .perhaps as early as Sunday afternoon's big matchup between the Vikings and the Denver Broncos.
According to Vikings' head coach Mike Zimmer, Rhodes has already passed the first stage of the NFL's concussion protocol.
"Actually, he's feeling great today," Zimmer said. "He's already passed one test [in the NFL's concussion protocol]. I think he should be ready."
. . .
"I'm always concerned about my players any time they get hurt," he said. "But Xavier's pretty tough. He's pretty tough. So I knew he'd be alright."
With an offense featuring big-play threats like Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, getting Rhodes back for this weekend's matchup at Mile High would be a big help for the Minnesota defense. With the issues that came up last week with Brandon Fusco's concussion, it's not surprising that the Vikings are being pretty open about Rhodes' status.
Zimmer also said that he's unsure about whether or not wide receiver Charles Johnson would play on Sunday following a rib injury on Sunday, but he expects that he will.
(Thanks to Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune for the information that went into this story.)