Sprained MCL will sideline Vikings tight end John Carlson for weeks
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MANKATO, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings tight end John Carlson is expected to miss at least two weeks and perhaps as long as a month after spraining a knee in Tuesday's afternoon practice.
The initial diagnosis was a sprained medial collateral ligament, coach Leslie Frazier said shortly after practice ended. On Tuesday night, an NFL source said an MRI confirmed Carlson's injury is a sprained MCL and the ligament isn't torn.
With an MCL sprain, "you don't have to have any surgery," Frazier said. "It heals by itself. So, it's a little bit more of a pain tolerance thing, depending on how he feels."
Even a two-week absence from practice would cut into Carlson's action in the preseason, which begins on Aug. 10 at San Francisco. With no setbacks, though, there's no reason to believe he won't be back in time for the Sept. 9 opener against Jacksonville.
Carlson, 28, signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Vikings in March and is expected to play a major role in Bill Musgrave's multiple tight end offense alongside Kyle Rudolph. He sat out last season in Seattle with a shoulder injury.