EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings will be without two starters when they face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.
Both wide receiver Adam Thielen (hamstring) and nose tackle Linval Joseph (knee) were ruled out following Friday’s practice. Safety Andrew Sendejo, whom the Vikings claimed off waivers on Wednesday after he was released by Philadelphia a day earlier, is set to be inactive Sunday with a groin injury.
Thielen did not practice ahead of the Cowboys game and is considered “week to week,” according to coach Mike Zimmer. The Vikings’ coach did not divulge information when asked about Joseph’s injury. The nose tackle was downgraded from a full participant on Wednesday to a non-participant a day later.
“He’s out,” Zimmer said, when asked to clarify whether Joseph’s injury might be a long-term concern.
In his place, third-year defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson is expected to start. The backup had rotated between the three-technique position and nose tackle over the past two years before coaches decided the latter was a better fit.
“He’s much better playing the technique,” Zimmer said. “Like I’ve said before, he used to be a bull in a china shop and now he’s playing the technique, he plays hard, he’s been playing good all year long.”
The Vikings could activate former first-rounder Josh Doctson off injured reserve ahead of Sunday’s game to provide receiver depth. Last week, Stefon Diggs was held to one catch for 4 yards in Thielen’s absence against the Chiefs.
Both cornerback Trae Waynes and defensive end Stephen Weatherly are listed as questionable. Waynes was initially dealing with an ankle injury but was listed with a “non-injury related” designation on Thursday. Zimmer said Thursday that he anticipated Waynes will play.