Outside linebacker Chad Greenway, who left in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 20-9 loss to the Saints, did not practice today due to a broken left hand and a painful broken rib. Greenway, whose status for this weekend is in doubt, said he was frustrated that the injuries affected his play Sunday.
“You go back and look at the tape and I just couldn’t be nearly as effective as I needed to be. That’s the unfortunate part of this game. Injuries happen and you just have to deal with stuff,” said Greenway, who has started 90 straight games at linebacker for the Vikings. “Sometimes you can’t deal with them as much as you thought you could have or they become just too much.”
Also sitting out today’s practice were nose tackle Linval Joseph (shoulder), tight end Kyle Rudolph (sports hernia) and cornerback Josh Robinson (hamstring). Joseph and Robinson are new additions to the injury report, as was safety Harrison Smith, who was limited in practice with a knee injury.
Outside linebacker Brandon Watts (knee) was also limited. Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (shoulder), outside linebacker Michael Mauti (foot) and wide receiver Rodney Smith (hamstring) participated fully. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who had a hamstring injury, is no longer on the report.
With Greenway potentially out for Sunday’s game against the Falcons, rookie outside linebacker Anthony Barr could be the one who wears the green dot. That is a lot to ask of any rookie, let alone one who only played defense for two years at the college level. But it says a lot of how the coaching staff feels about Barr, who has played all but 10 defensive snaps for the Vikings this season.
There is good news for Greenway, though. His wife had a baby yesterday — the couple’s third child.
Phil Hughes won his 16th game of the season, striking out five batters and walking none to put his season strikeout-to-walk ratio at a MLB-record 11.63. But a rain delay might have cost him a big bonus.
The Vikings announced they’ve placed quarterback Matt Cassel and right guard Brandon Fusco on injured reserve Wednesday.
Both suffered injuries during the 20-9 loss to the Saints on Sunday. Cassel fractured several bones in his left foot during the second quarter, while Fusco hurt his pectoral muscle in the second half.
The Vikings signed tight end Chase Ford and rookie offensive lineman Austin Wentworth from the practice squad as corresponding moves. They also signed quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson and tight end Ryan Otten to the practice squad.
With Cassel’s injury, it will be rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s team for the rest of the season. He went 12 of 20 for 150 yards with six rushes for 27 yards against the Saints filling in for Cassel in his NFL debut.
The bigger injury might be Fusco, however. He signed a five-year, $25 million extension right before the season opener and plays a key role in the Vikings run game. Without him, the Vikings will attempt to fill the void with Vladimir Ducasse, Wentworth and rookie guard David Yankey, who has been inactive for the first three games. Ducasse committed two penalties in 11 snaps replacing Fusco against the Saints.
The Vikings didn’t announce a move regarding tight end Kyle Rudolph, who will need sports hernia surgery and expected to miss about six weeks.
The Gophers were a quotable bunch at Tuesday’s media gathering, and we’d like to think Sid got everyone off on the right foot. He started by yelling at us about Christian Ponder, and he carried it over when head coach Jerry Kill came to the podium.
The good times spilled over to the portion of the access period in which we get to talk to players. Defensive lineman Cameron Botticelli and QB Chris Streveler (pictured) had notable zingers. Let’s get to it:
*Much of the focus between Saturday and now has been on a Gophers passing attack that led to just one completion in the victory over San Jose State. Part of that was because of how well Minnesota was running the ball. Offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover, while noting that such imbalance probably won’t cut it in the Big Ten, praised Streveler for the decisions he made in the read-option game. In fact, he said it was as well as he has seen a QB run the read-option under his tutelage. Still, a QB is often judged by the passing game, and Streveler admitted he’s heard some chirping on campus this week over his 1-for-7 throwing day.
Said Streveler: “Yeah, some of my buddies class have been like ‘Hey, nice completion’ or whatever. It’s just funny. I like to joke around about it, and we got the win so it doesn’t really matter to be honest. I’ve gotten a little ribbing from that, but it’s all right.”
*Botticelli was being asked about playing at Michigan in front of a huge crowd at The Big House. He started rattling off the short list of Big Ten stadiums in which he’s never played. At the end, a reporter reminded him that Rutgers and Maryland are also on that list.
“We’re counting them as Big Ten schools?” he quipped with a smile before making sure reporters knew he was kidding around.