Injury report: Carlson suffers setback, Peterson and Rhodes sit out
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes and tight end John Carlson will have to clear some hurdles to get back onto the practice field and have a shot of playing Sunday at the Cincinnati Bengals.
Rhodes hasn't practiced since he left a Dec. 8 loss at the Baltimore Ravens with a sprained ankle, while Carlson had recurring symptoms from a concussion he suffered in the same game and had to sit out after practicing in full on Wednesday. Carlson's brain injury is his fifth documented concussion in his football career.
"We held [Carlson] out [Thursday] as well, thought it was the best thing. He wasn't feeling well," coach Leslie Frazier said. "He'll have some things he has to clear to come back tomorrow."
The Vikings could get their top two cornerbacks back as Chris Cook (knee) was a limited participant again after missing Sunday's win over the Philadelphia Eagles. If Rhodes is able to practice Friday, Frazier would be comfortable playing him depending on how the rookie looked.
But one practice won't necessarily jettison him back into the starting lineup.
"We obviously need [Rhodes], he's gotten better," Frazier said. "But not enough to where he could be cleared and practice yet."
After the loss at the Ravens, Rhodes' ankle was visibly swollen and he even admitted fear that the injury was more than a sprain, saying this week: 'You'd freak out too if your ankle looked like that.'
Rhodes claimed he's never had an ankle injury in his football career.
"I don't know if we'd start [Rhodes], depending on how he'd look in practice. We'll see," Frazier said.
Peterson held out
Running backs Adrian Peterson (groin/foot) and Matt Asiata (ankle) were the only other Vikings to miss Thursday's practice. Peterson missed Sunday's win over the Eagles after a mid-foot sprain forced him to miss the entire second half of the Dec. 8 loss at Baltimore.
The Vikings coaching staff gave Peterson the day off from practice after he was a limited participant on Wednesday.
"[Peterson] should be fine tomorrow. We'll get him some work tomorrow," Frazier said. "Thought it would be wise to get him inside with our training staff and work out some kinks from [Wednesday's] practice."
"No real setbacks, just want to be smart about how we get him ready for Sunday. We thought it would be wise to take this approach."
Frazier expects Asiata to return to practice on Friday as well just five days after his first career start on Sunday was met with a 30-carry workload. Running back Toby Gerhart (hamstring) was limited again on Thursday, but vowed to play - and Frazier confirmed.
"Toby was fine today. He feels like he's strong and ready to go," Frazier said. "Barring any setback, he should be ready to go [Sunday]."
• Guard Brandon Fusco (knee) was limited, but vowed to play after missing Sunday's win over the Eagles. Fusco played just five snaps in a loss at Baltimore before exiting with a knee sprain.
• Rookie linebacker Michael Mauti continues to practice without a knee brace in shells (shorts/helmet) on his surgically repaired left knee from an ACL tear over a year ago.
• Linebacker Larry Dean (knee), cornerback Marcus Sherels (shoulder), long snapper Cullen Loeffler (hand), linebacker Chad Greenway (wrist) were all full participants. Safety Harrison Smith (toe) was limited.