Ahead of one of their most critical games of the season, the Vikings announced that they will be without another key piece of their defense in Tampa Bay. Eric Kendricks has been ruled out along with Alexander Mattison, while Kyle Rudolph is doubtful.
Kendricks is the heartbeat of the Vikings’ defense and it was clear he was missed in last week’s game against the Jaguars. Not only will he be missed in run support, but his ability to be a factor in pass coverage will also be missed as they take on Tom Brady and one of the better receiving groups in the NFL.
With Mattison also being ruled out it sounds like this is going to be a game where Dalvin Cook is used heavily for the second consecutive week. It should be noted that the Buccaneers’ rush defense has allowed the least amount of yards all season and the Vikings will have to find success through the air.
Irv Smith Jr. is listed as questionable after being limited in practice all week, but if he’s able to go it could be an added boost for Kirk Cousins. The unit will likely be without Rudolph, so getting Smith Jr. back on the field could be critical.
For more updates ahead of Sunday’s big game with the Buccaneers tune into KFAN 100.3.