Injury update: Zimmer expects all safeties except Blanton to play Sat.
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MANKATO, Minn. -- After having seven defensive backs sit out of Friday's preseason opener against the Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer expects all of them to be ready with the exception of Robert Blanton.
Mistral Raymond (head), Jamarca Sanford (back), Josh Robinson (hamstring), Marcus Sherels (hamstring), Chris Crocker and Andrew Sendejo (back/ankle) are expected to practice Monday night and play Saturday against the Arizona Cardinals.
"I anticipate they should all play this week," Zimmer said. "[Tuesday] we'll sit down and try to get a much better evaluation of the guys we think we need more on tape."
Because of the lack of depth, rookie Antone Exum (90%) and Brandan Bishop (55%) played more than expected in Friday's 10-6 win over the Raiders. However, competition for the second starting safety spot next to Harrison Smith should pick up with the debut of Crocker and return of Raymond, Sanford and Sendejo.
Crocker was held out of Friday's game because he was just signed that week, though as we profiled earlier on Monday, his track record should help provide reliability for a safety position that is in constant flux with the Vikings.
Zimmer also noted defensive tackle Tom Johnson (bicep) will try to practice Monday night. Tight end Chase Ford, who is on the PUP list, is "probably 10 days" away from returning to the field after he showed up to camp with a broken foot.
'No book on it'
Defensive tackle Linval Joseph">Linval Joseph is not expected to practice anytime soon after he was struck by a stray bullet in the calf after Friday night's game.
Zimmer would like to see Joseph play more in the preseason, but it sounds like that won't be until the third or fourth game.
"He probably needs to play," Zimmer said. "I don't know if [trainer Eric Sugarman] has dealt with this kind of injury. There's no book on...I'm not going to say it, you know."