Now that we’re a couple weeks into Vikings’ training camp, we’re (unfortunately) starting to see injuries happen. With the exception of James Lynch, they’ve been relatively minor, but they are starting to add up a little to the point where I thought I’d provide updates on all of them in one article.
Here we go:
CB Andrew Booth Jr.
Booth suffered an undisclosed injury this past week, causing him to miss a few practices. Brian Flores and Booth himself have since reported that it’s nothing serious and he could be back practicing as soon as today. Booth has suffered a number of minor injuries going back to college that have caused him to miss several games. And while this is another minor injury and one not causing him to miss much time, durability concerns linger about Booth.
TE TJ Hockenson
Hockenson did not practice with the team during Thursday’s night practice, although he was off by himself running routes on the field. On Saturday he left the practice field with a trainer according to Judd Zuglad, so apparently Hockenson has some sort of minor injury he is dealing with. Unclear at this point what the nature of the injury is, but there would seem to be some sort of minor injury that is causing Hockenson to miss practice. There has also been some speculation that Hockenson may be in-line for an imminent contract extension, and so he’s taking it easy until that is completed.
DT James Lynch
Lynch suffered a torn ACL during Thursday night’s practice. I saw him on the sideline getting treatment by the trainers around his knee area, but he returned to the field afterward only to return to the sideline again later on. He didn’t seem like he was in a lot of pain, so his diagnosis was a bit surprising. Perhaps as ACL tears go, this is a less severe one and hopefully he’ll have a swift recovery. Lynch is having season-ending surgery to repair the ACL, so as this is the last year of his rookie contract, when he returns to health he will be a free agent.
ED Andre Carter II
Carter was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list just prior to the start of training camp with a soft tissue injury suffered while training earlier in the off-season, but has now passed his physical and has returned to start his training camp.
Whatever that soft tissue was, it didn’t appear to keep him out of the weight room, as Carter looks noticeably bigger walking next to Danielle Hunter in the photo below. Filling out his large frame was the primary thing on Carter’s development list since he was signed as an undrafted free agent. His progress in that regard bodes well, although he’ll likely have more challenges ahead getting up to NFL speed, developing his pass rush moves, and learning the scheme.
RB/KR Kene Nwangwu
Nwangwu suffered an undisclosed injury a week or so ago and has not been practicing since. It’s unclear what the nature of his injury is, but he has missed about a week of practice and the Vikings have also signed another running back- Abram Smith- in the meantime. There hasn’t been any indication if Nwangwu is day-to-day, week-to-week, or how long he may be out. Ty Chandler has been getting more reps as a result, including as kick returner.
ED Marcus Davenport
Marcus Davenport also suffered an apparent undisclosed minor injury that caused him to miss padded practices so far, including Thursday’s night practice, returned as a full participant in Saturday’s padded practice.
WR Jalen Nailor
Nailor has been dealing with a minor leg injury, according to Kevin O’Connell, which has caused him to miss the last week or so of practices. It was a contact injury that occurred during practice. O’Connell did say that he expected Nailor back sometime this past week, but that did not happen. Unclear if that is due to the injury not improving or is more severe than expected or an abundance of caution, but Nailor has yet to return to practice at this point. He is still listed as day-to-day.
C/G Chris Reed
Reed suffered a non-football injury away from the team facility to his lower leg during the off-season according to Kevin O’Connell and was placed on the Active/Non-Football Injury (NFI) list just prior to training camp. O’Connell said at the time that he hoped Reed would not be too far behind Andre Carter in returning to practice, so we’ll see if that’s the case. Carter returned this weekend.
RB Alexander Mattison
Mattison pulled up limping toward the end of practice last week with what appeared to be a minor hamstring injury. He missed a day or two of practice but has since returned as a full participant.
RT Brian O’Neill
O’Neill has been rehabbing this off-season from the torn Achilles he suffered late last season against the Packers, which has caused him to miss team practices up until now. He just recently returned to practice as a limited participant. Kevin O’Connell said that the plan for O’Neill is to slowly work him back up to full speed over the course of training camp with the goal of him starting against the Bucs on September 10th.
WR Trishton Jackson
Jackson went down in practice last week with what appeared to be a serious knee injury. However, he was able to avoid any ligament damage so it was not season-ending. However, he has not returned to practice since, and unclear what the timeframe is for his return to practice.
S Lewis Cine
Cine has worked his way back from his broken ankle/foot injury suffered last season, which had caused him to miss earlier phases of the off-season program, but he has been a full participant from the beginning of training camp and has been showing improvement and no signs of reduced physical ability.
At the moment, only Chris Reed is on the injury (NFI) list but I expect James Lynch will be placed on IR any day now. Other than that, no major injuries suffered so far (knock on wood), and those that had suffered serious injuries in the past (Cine, O’Neill) appear to be back to normal or progressing well.
However, for some players on the bubble- Trishton Jackson, possibly Kene Nwangwu- missing time may hurt their chances of securing a roster spot. How soon they’re able to return to practice and how they perform once they return will both be key factors for them making the team.