Vikings rookie linebacker Anthony Barr and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd didn’t finish the Sunday’s game due to knee injuries in the 31-13 victory over the Panthers at TCF Bank Stadium.
Barr said his knee locked up at halftime, causing him to miss most of the second half. He aggravated his knee during the first half and left with 6:35 left in the third quarter following linebacker Chad Greenway’s deflection on third down.
The rookie was replaced by Gerald Hodges for the rest of the game. Barr said he initially injured his knee two weeks ago against the Bears.
“It’s been bugging me for a little bit, but it didn’t bug me as much as it did today,” Barr said. “…I was able to play through it for most of the first half, then it kind of locked up on me in the second half.”
Floyd didn’t start the game. Instead, rookie defensive tackle Shamar Stephen made his second consecutive start with Floyd dealing with a knee injury for a second straight week. He was still active, however, in the first half as a third down pass rusher.
On his first snap during the Panthers’ opening drive, Floyd recorded a sack on third down and proved to be disruptive when he entered on third downs up until halftime. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said Floyd pulled something in his leg, and the team cautiously shut him down for the day with a commanding 28-6 at the time.
“We attacked it like we did pretty much last game,” defensive tackle Tom Johnson said. “We knew Sharrif would probably get warmed up and see what he could do. We started him at third downs, and he came in and made an impact. We seen that the game was getting away, and he wasn’t feeling it, felt a little pull. Coach said to give him his time, sit down and just let the rest of us handle the game.”
The Vikings blocked two punts in the first half — both returned for touchdowns — and Teddy Bridgewater threw for two scores as Minnesota rolled to a 31-13 win over Carolina at TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday.
Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd is out with a knee injury after playing in the first half against the Panthers at TCF Bank Stadium.
Floyd was limited almost exclusively on third down situations due to his pass rushing ability. He recorded a sack on his first snap, a third down play on the Panthers’ opening drive.
The Florida product missed last week’s game against the Packers with the same injury. He practiced only on Friday, as a limited participant, leading up to the Panthers game.
Rookie defensive tackle Shamar Stephen received his second consecutive start due to Floyd’s lingering knee injury over the last two weeks.
The Vikings blocked two punts returned for touchdowns in the first half against the Panthers at TCF Bank Stadium.
The first occurred with 7:09 left in the first quarter when wide receiver Adam Thielen blocked a punt attempt and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. It was the longest punt block returned for a touchdown. That was up until defensive end Everson Griffen scored in the same manner in the second quarter.
Linebacker Jasper Brinkley blocked Panthers punter Brad Nortman’s attempt, which Griffen scooped and scored from 43 yards out.
It’s the fourth time in NFL history a team has had multiple blocked punts return for touchdowns in a single game and the second time the Vikings have done so in franchise history.
Up until Thielen’s punt block returned for a touchdown, the Vikings had the NFL’s longest streak without accomplishing the feat 453 games ago in 1986.