Injury report: Rhodes on crutches, Rudolph to IR and Ponder cleared
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes hobbled around the locker room in crutches on Monday after spraining his ankle in Sunday's loss at the Baltimore Ravens.
Rhodes' fourth-quarter exit was just one of a slew of injuries the Vikings are dealing with leading up to their Week 15 contest against the Philadelphia Eagles.
"We did get banged up a little," Frazier said. "John Carlson suffered a concussion, so he has to go through the NFL protocol, so he'll be day-to-day. Brandon Fusco left the game with a knee strain. He'll be day-to-day as well, so we'll learn a little bit more about him."
Rhodes, Carlson, Fusco and running back Adrian Peterson all made early exits. Peterson is awaiting further tests on his right foot to determine the extent of his injury.
This is Carlson's fifth documented concussion in his football career after suffering one last season that forced him to miss some time. Carlson was already starting for Kyle Rudolph, who broke his foot in a Nov. 3 loss at the Dallas Cowboys.
Frazier announced on Monday that Rudolph has not progressed enough to practice this week and has been placed on injured reserve. He will miss the rest of this season.
Cornerback Josh Robinson (chest) won't be ready to return this week after fracturing his sternum in a Nov. 17 loss at the Seattle Seahawks. With Rhodes down, the Vikings are even more thin in the secondary.
"Yeah if we don't have Xavier [Rhodes] and we don't have Josh [Robinson], you still have Chris [Cook], Marcus [Sherels] is still there," Frazier said. "We'll have to sit down and figure out where Robert [Blanton] is and figure out what's the best thing to do. We have Shaun Prater as well, so we'll have to figure it out if Xavier is not ready to go."
Peterson and his backup, running back Toby Gerhart, were both injured in Sunday's loss.
Gerhart would start in place of Peterson if the NFL MVP can't go, but the Vikings are unsure if even he'll be ready after he suffered a hamstring injury that appeared to happen on his 41-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.
"Depends on to what degree the hamstring injury is and we'll know a little bit more Wednesday when we get out and start moving around a little bit," Frazier said. "Probably after that day or maybe Thursday we'll have a better idea."
Running back Matt Asiata, currently the third-string rusher, would assume duties should both Gerhart and Peterson not go on Sunday against Philadelphia.
"We might lose a running back, but we'll still emphasize the running game," Frazier said.
Ponder cleared, but no QB choice yet
Quarterback Christian Ponder has been cleared to practice after he missed all of last week from a concussion he suffered in the Dec. 1 win against the Chicago Bears.
"We'll sit down [Monday] as a staff and talk about how we want to go forward at the quarterback position," Frazier said.
Matt Cassel made his third start of the season at Baltimore on Sunday and is now 1-2 on the year. All four of the Vikings' 240-yard-plus outings this season have come from Cassel, including one on Sunday. Cassel threw for a Vikings' season-high 265 yards with two touchdowns to no interceptions.
Quarterback Josh Freeman was active for just the third time on Sunday since joining the team in October. He backed up Cassel, but did not play.
"In regards to Josh, we'll talk about him as we're figuring out what we want to do as we approach Philadelphia," Frazier said. "We'll see where things are when we get through talking today."
Greg Childs decision
The Vikings opted not to activate receiver Greg Childs to the 53-man roster as they let Monday's deadline come and go. He'll remain on the physically unable to perform list throughout the end of the regular season, per Frazier.
Childs returned to practice last month for the first time with his teammates since tearing both patellar tendons in his knees about 16 months ago. Drafted in the fourth round (134th overall) of the 2012 draft, the Vikings chose to pocket him for next offseason instead of giving him game action now.
"[Childs] did a good job in his return, did some things that we were glad to see," Frazier said. "But at this point, made the decision that he's going to be on the PUP list."
Harrison Smith returning?
Safety Harrison Smith is eligible to return to the playing field this Sunday after a foot injury on Oct. 13 sidleined him for eight weeks. The injured reserve-to return tag allows him to jump back onto the team's 53-man roster, should the Vikings activate him this week.
"We're going to make a decision on Harrison at the end of the week," Frazier said. "Probably Friday or Saturday, make a decision."