Vikings safety Harrison Smith to miss Sunday’s game vs. Detroit due to concussion
The missed game will be Smith's first since 2016 due to injury
EAGAN, Minn. — For the first time since 2016, Vikings safety Harrison Smith will miss a game due to injury.
The Vikings on Friday ruled Smith out for Sunday’s game against Detroit at U.S. Bank Stadium after he suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of last Monday’s 24-7 loss at Philadelphia. The six-time Pro Bowl selection did not practice all week, and Friday only did light jogging on the side of the practice field.
Smith, in his 11th NFL season, missed two games in December 2016 due to an ankle injury. He sat out the 2019 regular-season finale when the playoff-bound Vikings rested starters and he missed two games last November while on the COVID-19 reserve list.
The Vikings also listed as out rookie cornerback Andrew Booth Jr., who will miss his second straight game with a quadriceps injury, and listed as questionable linebacker Eric Kendricks with a toe injury. However, Kendricks, who was limited in practice Friday, is expected to play Sunday.
“We feel really good about the depth of that (safety) room and it’s going to be tested this weekend without one of our best players out there,’’ O’Connell said after Friday’s practice about Smith being out.
O’Connell said no decision had been made on who will start for Smith alongside safety Camryn Bynum. After Smith left Monday’s game, Josh Metellus was his primary replacement and got in for 10 snaps while rookie safety Lewis Cine was in for just one snap.
“I would expect to see both those guys play,’’ O’Connell said. “When Josh has got a chance to go in there, he’s really done some good things. … I feel really good about where Lew is, coming off that injury in the opener and then being able to get back out there and really flash a few times on (special) teams.”
Cine missed the Sept. 11 opener against Green Bay due to a knee injury and also played 15 snaps on special teams in his NFL debut Monday. He said he has no clue who will replace Smith on Sunday.
“I know as little as you do,’’ said Cine, taken with the No. 32 pick in the first round. “So I’m prepping like I’m the one that’s going to play. But I don’t really know if it’s me or if it’s Josh. So I’m just prepping, making sure that if my number is called, I can be ready to ball out.”
With Smith out, the Vikings could elevate Myles Dorn from the practice squad to give them a fourth safety in uniform.
The Lions listed as out for Sunday guard Jonah Jackson (finger) and defensive end John Cominsky (wrist). They listed as questionable four players who are likely to suit up in running back De’Andre Swift (ankle), defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (thigh), center Frank Ragnow (foot) and tight end T.J. Hockenson (hip).
A swift start
Pardon Vikings defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson if he did a double take when looking at Swift’s stats.
In the first two games, Swift has run for 200 yards on 20 carries. That’s a whopping 10 yards per attempt.
“That’s crazy,’’ Tomlinson said. “That’s like on a video game. I’m super impressed to see a running back average 10 yards a carry.”
On Sunday, the Vikings will try to slow down Swift, who had 144 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown in the opener against Philadelphia and five carries for 56 yards last Sunday against Washington.
“We’ve got to be gap disciplined and get a hit on him and stop him from getting that extra leaky yardage,’’ Tomlinson said.
Swift also is a receiving threat, having caught five passes for 62 yards and a touchdown. Cine knows all about Swift since they were teammates at Georgia in 2019.
“He’s a problem,’’ Cine said.
For their game in London against New Orleans on Oct. 2, the Vikings will leave after practice Thursday night and arrive Friday morning. The Saints, the home team, will leave after playing at Carolina on Sunday and arrive Monday morning. … Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, last Sunday tied an NFL record with his eighth straight game with at least eight catches. “I’ve been really impressed watching him,” O’Connell said.