MINNEAPOLIS -- Defensive starters Eric Kendricks and cornerback Xavier Rhodes missed a second straight practice on Thursday, Dec. 27, putting their status for Sunday’s key game against Chicago in question.
Kendricks sat out last weekend’s 27-9 loss at Detroit with a hamstring injury, and Rhodes suffered a groin strain in the fourth quarter of that game.
Also sitting out practice Thursday were punt returner Marcus Sherels (foot), fullback C.J. Ham (elbow), both injured in the first half against the Lions, and wide receiver Chad Beebe (hamstring). Beebe, who missed four games with a hamstring injury before returning against the Lions, was not on Wednesday’s injury report.
Returning Thursday on a limited basis after missing practice Wednesday were nose tackle Linval Joseph (knee) and guard Mike Remmers (back). Guard Tom Compton (shoulder) was limited after not being on Wednesday’s injury report.
The Vikings (8-6-1) face the Bears (11-4) at U.S. Bank Stadium. To make the playoffs, they need to win or have Philadelphia lose at Washington.
Kendricks declined comment on whether there’s a chance he could return against the Bears. Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer indicated Thursday that the Vikings won’t have Sherels available.
“Obviously, we’re going to miss Marcus and what he brings to the table,” Priefer said.
Priefer said he’s hoping Beebe can return punts Sunday. If Beebe can’t play, Priefer said wide receiver Brandon Zylstra would do so. Priefer also named cornerbacks Holton Hill and Craig James as possibilities to use and said wide receiver Adam Thielen is “always an emergency backup.”