Cornerback Josh Robinson, a valuable reserve, is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers after leaving yesterday’s practice with an ankle injury then sitting out today’s practice.
The injury happened during individual drills at the start of yesterday’s practice. Robinson wasn’t going full speed when he rolled his ankle, which he hopes will help with the recovery process. He said his ankle injury was doing better today and was optimistic about his chances of playing.
“It got rolled up a little bit yesterday in individuals but thank God it’s not too bad,” Robinson said.
Still, that he basically missed the last two practices means he is legitimately questionable to play.
Guard Vlad Ducasse (knee) and safety Antone Exum (ankle) are also listed as questionable. Linebacker Gerald Hodges (hammy) is doubtful despite limited practices the past two days.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph (sports hernia surgery) has been ruled out for Sunday’s game.
The rest of the Vikings on the injury report, including center John Sullivan, are all probable.
Quarterback Josh McCown, wide receiver Vincent Jackson, left tackle Anthony Collins and safety Dashon Goldson were among those officially listed as questionable for the Buccaneers.
The Vikings could be considering a switch at right guard but certainly aren’t being up front about it.
Joe Berger, who filled in for injured center John Sullivan in last week’s loss to the Bills, confirmed what we have seen in practice this week: that Berger has gotten some reps with the first team. And it’s not just because Vlad Ducasse is dealing with a knee injury. He practiced yesterday and today.
But asked what his role might be Sunday against the Buccaneers, the veteran lineman played coy.
“I may or may not know that,” said Berger, who has been a member of the Vikings since signing as a free agent back in 2011. “If you guys don’t know that, I’m going to let the coach tell you guys that.”
Head coach Mike Zimmer wasn’t giving anything up either. Asked if we could see Berger start at some point, Zimmer, responded, “I don’t know. We’ll see. Vlad practiced today, so we’ll see.” That wasn’t exactly an endorsement for Ducasse, who has started at right guard since Week 4.
Pressed for praise, Zimmer obliged with Berger, the backup at all three interior spots.
“He’s a smart guy,” Zimmer said after practice. “He’s been doing everything that he’s supposed to do. He’s been able to play multiple positions and he [brings] good chemistry in the room.”
Berger also feels he has good chemistry with his fellow linemen and that it would be advantageous.
“I would hope so,” he said. “I have been with these guys, with Sully and Charlie [Johnson] and Phil [Loadholt]. I haven’t played with them a whole lot, but I’ve been in the room with them for four years. I would like to think that with that time we would understand each other a little bit.”
As Berger said that, Sullivan, who was sitting at the next locker over, emphatically nodded his head.
Joe Maddon, the very successful longtime manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, has exercised an out clause in his contract and is essentially a managerial free agent. This is a stunning development in that folks like Buster Olney of ESPN, someone quite plugged in, didn’t even know he had that clause in his contract.
So suddenly one of the five best managers in baseball is available at a time when only one other team (aside from Tampa, now) has an active managerial opening: the Twins.
The first bit of speculation had Maddon going to the Dodgers to follow Andrew Friedman, but Fox’s Ken Rosenthal said Maddon is not going to L.A. The Dodgers’ current manager is Don Mattingly.
Twins fans are going crazy with optimistic speculation that he could wind up here. We can’t blame them; we’d dare ourselves to dream, too, and certainly nothing can be ruled out.
Olney thinks the Cubs are a more logical landing spot, though Chicago does have a manager (Rich Renteria) already in place. Then again, a lot of teams would drop everything (and anyone) if they had a chance to get Maddon, so the fact that the Twins have an opening while nobody else does probably doesn’t mean a ton.
Would it make any sense for Maddon to jump to the Twins? Not if he’s looking for a big leap in payroll (Twins opening-day payroll last year was around $86 million, while the tight-fisted Rays still checked in around $77 million). Not if he’s looking for a team that has a track record of recent success.
But … if he’s looking for a fresh challenge, a huge upgrade in ballpark and he believes that the Twins’ highly touted prospects make them a candidate to be contenders for the next 5-7 years … then, well, maybe?
Again, there are other teams that make more sense. But it’s not as though the Twins make no sense. And they are the only team with an existing opening. If Terry Ryan and the Pohlads don’t at least make an inquiry, they’re doing the search a disservice. And until we’re all told otherwise, dream away.