John Carlson returns to Vikings practice, 'should be fine' for opener
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- John Carlson was wearing shoulder pads for the first time in nearly a month when the Minnesota Vikings resumed practice on Sunday afternoon.
Carlson had been sidelined since July 31 with a Grade 2 sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. He won't play in Thursday's preseason finale at Houston, coach Leslie Frazier said, but there is optimism he'll be ready for the regular-season opener on Sept. 9 against Jacksonville.
"He moved around pretty good," Frazier said. "It's good to see him back out with his teammates and encouraged by the fact he was out there. We think if he can just keep making progress throughout this week, he should be fine when we get ready for game week."
Two starters who missed Friday's preseason game against San Diego, nose tackle Letroy Guion (knee) and cornerback Chris Cook (concussion), also were in pads when practice began. Neither will play on Thursday, Frazier said -- no surprise, since many healthy starters are expected to sit, too.
Cornerback Chris Carr was a surprise addition to the injured list in the Vikings' banged-up secondary. He has lower-back spasms, Frazier said.
Also sitting out practice were: cornerbacks Josh Robinson (concussion) and Marcus Sherels (ankle), safeties Mistral Raymond (back) and Andrew Sendejo (ankle), guard Geoff Schwartz (sports hernia surgery) and fullback Ryan D'Imperio, who was scratched for Friday's game because of a shoulder issue that remains under evaluation.
Those injuries "should make those guys available when we're ready to play (Jacksonville) in a couple weeks," Frazier said, but it's unlikely any of them will play against the Texans.
Sunday's practice was the Vikings' first since they cut down the roster to 75 players one day earlier, and multiple players had new numbers to eliminate duplicates. End Nick Reed was wearing No. 95 and linebacker Corey Paredes was wearing No. 59.