Injury report: Rhodes, Webb day-to-day; Henderson to practice
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Minnesota Vikings rookie cornerback Xavier Rhodes registered three pass deflections in arguably his best game as a pro before exiting early on Sunday with concussion-like symptoms.
Coach Leslie Frazier said both Rhodes and receiver Joe Webb, who exited with the same ailment, are day-to-day this week in preparation for the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
"[Rhodes] got his hands on a number of balls, really competed well. We put him in a lot of man coverage. We felt like that was the best approach against their offense, and he stood up. For our defense to -- I think we held them to 19 percent on third down -- he had a lot to do with that," Frazier said. "We put him in man. They tried to attack him, with him being a rookie, which other people do as well. But he played with a lot of confidence and played well."
Webb is seldom used, save for run-blocking situations, as the Vikings' fifth receiver, but Rhodes' injury cuts into the Vikings' secondary depth even further after cornerback A.J. Jefferson's release on Monday.
Rhodes was already starting in place of cornerback Josh Robinson, who fractured his sternum a week ago.
Players can make quick turnarounds from the brain injuries, as center John Sullivan did last week. Sullivan was cleared on Thursday night, practiced Friday and played Sunday.
"We'll find out as the week goes on what will happen with [Rhodes and Webb]," Frazier said. "Other than that, we came out fairly well for the most part."
Safety Harrison Smith still plans on practicing on Wednesday for the first time since his severe foot injury, categorized as turf toe, in an Oct. 13 loss.
Linebacker Erin Henderson returned to Winter Park on Monday after missing all of last week's practices due to a personal matter. Frazier still would not disclose any details on the nature of Henderson's absence.
"I haven't had a chance to speak to him, but everything I've heard has been positive," Frazier said. "So I'll sit down and talk with him this afternoon."
Second-year linebacker Audie Cole stepped in and led all defenders with 13 tackles on Sunday - and Frazier didn't rule out Cole starting over Henderson, but wouldn't comment on it any further.
"When we sit down this afternoon and just talk about what we're going to do for this opponent, we're probably talk about what's the best scenario to get the best 11 on the field," Frazier said. "We'll have to determine that if Audie [Cole] will be one of those 11 or how we'll do it. It's hard for me to answer that right now."
Henderson is second on the Vikings with 93 combined tackles, according to ESPN.com stats.
Frazier received word from his medical and training staff that tight end Kyle Rudolph and Robinson are both making significant gains in their recoveries from a broken foot and sternum, respectively.
Rudolph could see the practice field as early as next week, while Robinson's scope is still a couple weeks out, per Frazier. At one point, the Vikings were discussing placing Robinson on injured reserve.
"[Robinson] is making good progress, had a good report about he and Kyle Rudolph [on Monday] so they're both making progress," Frazier said. "The IR conversation is kind of on the back-burner."
Rudolph has been out since the Nov. 3 loss at Dallas after breaking his foot on a 31-yard touchdown catch.