Injury situation becoming a concern for Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings are switching to a rookie quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater for Sunday's game against Atlanta, but coach Mike Zimmer's primary concern is his team's injury situation.
The Minnesota Vikings are switching to a rookie quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater for Sunday’s game against Atlanta, but coach Mike Zimmer’s primary concern is his team’s injury situation.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph has a “core” injury and will fly to Philadelphia to see Dr. William Meyers, a specialist on such injuries, Zimmer said Monday.
An NFL source told the Star Tribune’s Matt Vensel that Rudolph will need surgery for a sports hernia and will miss at least six weeks. Meyers, of the Vincera Institute, has operated on Adrian Peterson twice after Peterson had abdominal injuries.
The Vikings lost at New Orleans 20-9 on Sunday, and Bridgewater came into the game after starter Matt Cassel left because of broken bones in his left foot.
Starting right guard Brandon Fusco left Sunday’s game because of a pectoral injury, and is still being evaluated, Zimmer said.
Zimmer said linebacker Chad Greenway, who played despite a broken left hand, also has a broken rib. Greenway tried to play Sunday, but eventually left the game.
“He had a hard game,” Zimmer said. “That’s my fault. He didn’t practice all week, I thought he could go … my mistake.”
Rudolph, who missed part of last season because of a broken foot, got a five-year, $36.5 million contract extension before the season started. Fusco got a five-year, $24.5 million deal on the eve of the opening game.
Zimmer said the team is ready to go with Bridgewater at the helm.
“Nothing really flusters him,” Zimmer said. “Obviously it’s a difficult situation to go in when you’re down 13 on the road. I’m looking forward to getting him in at home in front of our fans.
“The kid has all the talent in the world. “ Zimmer said the team would consider signing a quarterback once it is determined how long Cassel will be sidelined. Cassel will see a foot specialist on Thursday.
Vikings’ Munnerlyn: Brees should have been penalized, not me
Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said he expects to hear from the NFL about his controversial sack of Saints quarterback Drew Brees late in Sunday’s 20-9 loss in New Orleans.
After watching the game film, Munnerlyn said no whistle had been blown to end the play in which he blitzed, wrapped up and then threw down Brees to the Superdome turf.
“It was a bad call,” Munnerlyn said Monday of being whistled for unnecessary roughness. The 15-yard penalty on third and 13 extended a Saints’ drive that they capped with a touchdown.
“They made the call and you have to live with it,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll be hearing from the league soon.”
Munnerlyn believes the NFL has gotten too protective of quarterbacks, especially stars such as Brees, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
Playing against Brees two games a year the past five seasons for NFC South foe Carolina, Munnerlyn said the Saints quarterback can still make throws when he’s wrapped up.
“You can have a guy wrapped up and they’re still going to throw the ball away or try to find an open guy,” Munnerlyn said. “It’s tough to make that decision.”
Munnerlyn believes Brees also should have been flagged on the play. After Munnerlyn hit Brees, along with safety Robert Blanton, Brees got in Blanton’s face and shoved him.
“They can’t allow quarterbacks to just get up and get in people’s faces without throwing a flag on them, either,” Munnerlyn said. “I thought it should have at least been offset(ing penalties).”
Munnerlyn said he believes correspondence with the league will be about the hit and not his critiques.
“About my comments, I don’t think I’m saying nothing wrong at all,” Munnerlyn said. “Just speaking my opinion.”
Smith gets grief about one that got away
The Vikings have gone two straight games without forcing a turnover, and safety Harrison Smith heard about a missed opportunity Sunday.
In the second quarter, Smith dropped what appeared to be a gift interception thrown by Brees.
“I was messing with him about catching the ball, but he did a great job,” Munnerlyn said. “When his number was called to cover a guy, he did a great job and got his hand on a football.”
Smith had an 81-yard interception return for a touchdown against St. Louis in Week 1, but the Vikings didn’t generate an interception against Tom Brady or Brees the past two games.
The Vikings are going to sign quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson to their practice squad, according to ESPN. Bethel-Thompson, 26, spent time with the Vikings in 2012 and 2013.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press contributed to this report.