Throughout the past three weeks, Blake Brandel has been thrust into a very crucial role for the Minnesota Vikings offense. Since Christian Darrisaw suffered his second concussion in consecutive weeks. Brandel has been the starting left tackle for the Vikings.
During Week 14’s loss to the Detroit Lions, though, Brandel was forced to leave the game with a knee injury. In his stead, Oli Udoh played the final eight snaps of the game.
On Monday, head coach Kevin O’Connell confirmed during his press conference that Brandel’s injury was in fact an MCL tear, and he will be out for a minimum of four weeks. Essentially, the Vikings will be without their primary backup left tackle through the end of the regular season.
The positive, though, is that it appears Christian Darrisaw is getting close to making his return. O’Connell said that the star offensive lineman is “feeling great”, and while he needs to get another week of practice in, there seems to be a chance that he could come back against the Colts. Coach O’Connell also mentioned Garrett Bradbury’s return to the lineup being a possibility this week.
As for the other Vikings injuries, O’Connell also confirmed that CB Cam Dantzler is healthy coming out of Sunday. There were occasions where the Vikings swapped him in and out with Duke Shelley, leading some speculation as to whether Dantzler may have aggravated his ankle. The truth, instead, is that the Vikings had been planning on giving him some snaps off in order to ensure that he remained healthy.
O’Connell also described both Jordan Hicks (toe) and James Lynch (shoulder) as “day-to-day” after suffering injuries on Sunday. It appears that both of them will go through practice this week, but they appear likely to be available this Saturday against Indianapolis.
These injuries and the statuses of each player will become more apparent as official injury reports come out throughout the week. Kickoff between the Colts and Vikings is scheduled for 12 PM CST on Saturday, December 17th at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.