Although this will be a big day for both teams as they hope to bounce back from lackluster 2011 campaigns, pregame focus will be on whether or not Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will play. Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier, however, made it clear on Friday that no decisions will made until game time.
“There is no reason to make a decision before Sunday,” Frazier said. “We’re going to talk to him again [Saturday], see how he feels and we’ll make a decision.”
Peterson is listed as questionable, but is expected to see the field barring some unforeseen setback.
Three Vikings players, including linebacker Marvin Mitchell, safety Andrew Sendejo and wide receiver Jarius Wright, have been ruled out of today’s showdown with the Jaguars due to ankle injuries.
The following Vikings have all been listed as probable: safety Robert Blanton (hamstring), tight end John Carlson (knee), defensive tackle Letroy Guion (knee), guard Geoff Schwartz (sports hernia), cornerback Marcus Sherels (ankle).
As for the Jaguars, they’ll be without their top defensive player when they hit the turf at Mall of America Field. Linebacker Daryl Smith was ruled out Friday due to an abdominal injury. He brings overwhelming production and leadership to the Jacksonville defense, both which will be severely missed while third-year player Kyle Bosworth stands in at the strong-side linebacker spot.
The only other starter that the Jaguars could be without today is cornerback Derek Cox, who is battling a hamstring injury. He’s listed as doubtful with a 25-percent chance of seeing the field against the Vikings. Fellow cornerback Mike Harris, who is also dealing with a nagging hamstring, is listed as questionable.
The Jaguars will also be short of depth on the defensive line, as defensive ends Austen Lane (foot) and George Selvie (knee) have been ruled out.
The remaining Jaguars listed on the injury report as probable: center Brad Meester (non-injury related), defensive end Aaron Morgan (non-injury related), wide receiver Justin Blackmon (ankle), guard Uche Nwaneri (ankle).
It’s football season, folks. Enjoy.