As the Green Bay Packers gradually get healthier on the offensive side of the football, their next opponent is seeing a glut of injuries affect the starting lineup on their offense.
On Friday afternoon, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer confirmed that three starters have been ruled out for Sunday’s game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Those three players are quarterback Sam Bradford, wide receiver Stefon Diggs, and guard Nick Easton.
Diggs’ absence will be the biggest issue for Minnesota, as he has developed into a bona fide number one wideout. Without Diggs, the Vikings will rely even more heavily on Adam Thielen and will see players like Michael Floyd and Laquon Treadwell pick up the slack. Diggs aggravated a groin injury in Minnesota’s week five win over the Chicago Bears, catching just one pass for four yards in that contest.
Now in his third season, Diggs has missed three games in each of his first two years in the NFL. In the first four games this season, working with Bradford and backup quarterback Case Keenum, Diggs had recorded 22 receptions for 391 yards and four touchdowns.
With the Packers dealing with injuries to starting defensive backs Kevin King and Morgan Burnett, Diggs’ absence should make the challenge a bit less for defensive coordinator Dom Capers and company.
Also sitting is Bradford, who looked completely uncomfortable and incapable of running the offense last Monday Night. However, Keenum has been alternately excellent and mediocre over the past four games. His week three performance was exemplary in a win over the Buccaneers, as he threw for 25 completions on 33 passes, raking up 369 yards and three touchdowns in the process. However, a week later against the Lions he completed barely 50% of his passes with no touchdowns and just over 200 yards.
The final piece is Easton, the Vikings’ left guard. A third-year pro, Easton has started each of the first five games this season after playing primarily center a year ago. Jeremiah Sirles is expected to replace Easton in the starting lineup.
Stay tuned for both teams’ injury reports, which should be announced in a few hours.