The Minnesota Vikings will likely be without defensive lineman Christian Ballard for the rest of the 2013 season. That’s according to head coach Leslie Frazier, who acknowledged that he hasn’t talked with Ballard in a week and that the team is preparing as if the DT won’t be back.
“I think you have to approach it that way. We’ve got to get these guys ready to play that are here. You’ve got to move forward. He’s doing fine. That’s the extent of it. If (Ballard) decides he wants to come back, he has to go through us,” said Frazier.Advertisement
This is somewhat disappointing news for the Vikings as Ballard figured to provide the team with some quality depth along the d-line this season, but the reality is that his role would have been pretty minor. Perhaps that was part of his reasoning to leave the team for personal reasons a few weeks back, but it’s really anyone’s guess at this point as to why he hasn’t returned.
Minnesota’s d-line is without question the defense’s top strength. With the selection of Sharrif Floyd in the first round of this year’s draft, the Vikings have plenty of depth heading into the 2013 season. On lots of other teams Floyd would have been an automatic week one starter, but not on a unit with as much depth as Minnesota’s. He might end up starting for Vikings come Sunday, anyway, but only because Kevin Williams‘ status is still in question following a knee injury in the preseason.