Vikings Have Four Players on First Week 18 Injury Report
Heading into the final week of the regular season, the Minnesota Vikings have released their first Week 18 injury report ahead of their matchup with the Chicago Bears. On the initial injury report, the Vikings have four players listed:
- LB Brian Asamoah- Limited (knee)
- C Garrett Bradbury- DNP (back)
- DL James Lynch- DNP (shoulder)
- S Josh Metellus- Limited (thigh)
Of course, Lynch is already ruled out for Week 18 because of the shoulder injury he suffered during Week 16 against the Giants. The hope, though, is that he will be able to come back for the Vikings playoff run. Minnesota has also designated Jonathan Bullard to return from IR, so the defensive line is getting healthier at the right time.
However, the offensive line continues to get bad news as Garrett Bradbury remained at “DNP” status for Wednesday’s walkthrough practice. He’s now missed the last four games for the Vikings and seems to be on track to missing the season finale.
Backup center Austin Schlottmann is also on IR with a fractured fibula now, meaning the Vikings have a decision to make between Chris Reed, who played his first NFL snaps at center last Sunday, and the newly signed Greg Mancz. Further limiting the offensive line, right tackle Brian O’Neill suffered a partially torn Achilles in Week 17, and he is done for the season.
Meanwhile, back on the defensive side, safety Josh Metellus and rookie linebacker Brian Asamoah were limited participants. Metellus blocked a punt on Green Bay’s opening drive last Sunday, and Asamoah has had an ever-growing role within the defense as the regular season reaches its end. There are no signs as of now that they will be unavailable for Sunday, but they are two players to monitor moving forward.
On the other sideline, the Chicago Bears had a hefty list of players on their Wednesday injury report. A total of eight Bears had injury statuses for Wednesday’s session including the following players:
- S Jaquan Brisker- DNP (personal)
- OL Jatyre Carter- Full (back)
- QB Justin Fields- DNP (hip)
- DB Jaylon Jones- DNP (concussion)
- WR Dante Pettis- Full (head)
- LS Patrick Scales- Limited (neck)
- LB Sterling Weatherford- DNP (illness)
- TE Trevon Wesco- Limited (ankle)
The Bears have already ruled out starting QB Justin Fields for Week 18 because of his hip injury. In his place, Nathan Peterman will take snaps under center, making his first start since the 2019 season. Overall, Peterman has started four games, and his teams are 1-3 in those games.
This move makes a ton of sense from the Bears perspective, especially looking ahead to 2023. Currently, the Bears are a half-game behind the Houston Texans for the No. 1 overall pick. If the Bears lose on Sunday, and the Texans win, that top pick goes to Chicago. Seeing as Chicago doesn’t need a QB, they could either trade that pick or snag one of the top defenders in the 2023 Draft class.
With this news, and the fact that the Vikings will continue playing starters this week, the point spread has ballooned in favor of Minnesota. Kickoff between the two teams is scheduled for 12 PM CST on Sunday, January 8th at Lambeau Field.
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.