In last Sunday's blowout win over San Diego, the Vikings appeared to suffer yet another significant injury to a starter, this time on the defensive side of the ball.
CB Xavier Rhodes and S Andrew Sendejo collided , and by 'collided', I mean 'Sendejo completely trucked Rhodes while pretty much whiffing on the San Diego receiver.' Sendejo hit Rhodes hard in the head and neck area, and Rhodes fell to the ground, motionless for a couple of minutes. Initially, it looked really, really bad.
He eventually walked off under his own power, but was removed from the game and underwent the NFL's concussion protocol procedures. If you would have asked me Sunday night if Rhodes would be available to play this coming week against the Broncos, I would have put his chances somewhere between 'LOL NOPE' and 'are you smoking crack?' Seriously, take a look at this hit:
But in today's midweek press conference, head coach Mike Zimmer gave an update. Multiple beat writers tweeted it, so I'll just use Matt Vensel's, beat writer for the Star-Tribune:
Xavier Rhodes has been cleared to practice, Mike Zimmer says.— Matt Vensel (@mattvensel) September 30, 2015
So, Rhodes is back, and since he's been cleared to practice, barring any setback he'll start Sunday in Denver. Add that to the encouraging play of Trae Waynes in his absence, and it feels like the Vikings might have the deepest and most talented defensive backfield on their roster in a long time.
Just make sure Andrew Sendejo doesn't go all wrecking ball on his own guys anymore.