The Vikings defense should be much closer to whole Sunday night against the Giants. S Harrison Smith (knee, hamstring), DT Linval Joseph (foot) and OLB Anthony Barr (groin) are all listed as probable after practicing all week. Barr and Joseph returned to full practices Friday after being limited the previous 2 days. Smith remained limited throughout the week. He seems like the biggest risk for aggravation, considering Smith's dealing with both knee and hamstring trouble. He'll carry high upside into the game, but you'll need to balance that against the injury risk as you consider your DB options. Joseph told the St. Paul Pioneer Press earlier this week: "I'm feeling good. Best I've felt in a long time." So he looks like a decent DL bet, especially considering how well he was performing before his injury. The Minnesota team D carries some fantasy upside against a Giants offense missing its best player, WR Odell Beckham.
The Vikings have reached a deal to make Brian Flores their new DC. Flores spent last year as a defensive assistant in Pittsburgh after a messy breakup with the Dolphins. His Miami defenses improved from 32nd in Football Outsiders’ DVOA his first season to 11th and 10th in his final two. Before that, Flores spent 15 years under HC Bill Belichick in New England, including stints coaching safeties and LBs. He inherits a talented Vikings D that fell from 16th in 2021 DVOA to 27th this past season
The Vikings have ruled S Harrison Smith (concussion) out for Sunday's game against the Lions. LB Eric Kendricks (toe) is questionable. Kendricks didn't appear on the injury report until Friday, when the issue limited his participation. That's worrisome timing for his Week 3 status. We'll keep an eye on him through Sunday morning.
Minnesota added LB Eric Kendricks to the injury report Thursday, when he missed practice with a quad issue. We'll see whether he makes it back onto the field Friday. DE Everson Griffen also sat out with a concussion, which doesn't bode well for his Week 2 readiness. OLB Anthony Barr looks poised to miss at least 1 more game with the knee injury that kept him out of the opener. That would mean another start for Nick Vigil, assuming he's healthy enough to play. Vigil was limited Wednesday and Thursday with an ankle issue. We'll see about his game status after Friday's practice.
The Vikings will be replacing their OC for the 2nd straight offseason. Gary Kubiak on Thursday announced his retirement (for the 2nd time in his coaching career). That comes roughly a year after Minnesota lost OC Kevin Stefanski to the Cleveland HC gig. ESPN's Courtney Cronin reports that the team is considering promoting from within to replace Kubiak, who was on the staff prior to filling Stefanski's vacancy. An in-house promotion would seem to favor the team continuing to lean run, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Kubiak's son, Klint, has emerged as a favorite. Klint Kubiak spent the past 2 seasons as Minnesota's QBs coach. We'll see who the Vikings settle on.
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