Raymond, Hodges debut as injuries highlight Vikings inactives
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
Minnesota Vikings safety Mistral Raymond and rookie linebacker Gerald Hodges will make their season debuts as the team will be without three starters when they kickoff against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at noon.
Cornerback Chris Cook (groin), safety Jamarca Sanford (hamstring) and quarterback Christian Ponder (ribs) are inactive for the first time this season after being injured in a loss during their home opener against the Cleveland Browns last week. This time, the winless Vikings will kickoff from London with quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson as the listed backup. Matt Cassel will get the start.
Raymond will likely fill in on a variety of special teams, if not start, in place for Sanford. Backup safety Andrew Sendejo filled in for Sanford last week and is also a candidate to start. The Vikings will have four active cornerbacks in Marcus Sherels, Xavier Rhodes, Josh Robinson and A.J. Jefferson. Hodges could see time on special teams with tight end/fullback Rhett Ellison out. He joins former Penn State Nittany Lion teammate and rookie Vikings linebacker Michael Mauti, who made his debut last week.