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Injury Updates on the Vikings' Michael Pierce, Patrick Peterson

Rick Spielman offered some timetables for the returns of two of the Vikings' best defensive players.

Just when the Vikings were preparing to get one of the key pieces of their defense back from injury, they lost another one. Such is life in the NFL.

Nose tackle Michael Pierce was off to an excellent start to his debut season with the Vikings, recording two sacks in Week 1 and clogging up space in the middle of the defensive line. Then, in Week 4, he aggravated an elbow injury suffered that week in practice, causing him to miss the Vikings' next two games. Armon Watts filled in capably for Pierce as the Vikings won both of those games, but he's not nearly the same caliber of player.

According to general manager Rick Spielman, who spoke to the Twin Cities media on Tuesday, the Vikings are expecting to have Pierce back for their upcoming game against the Cowboys on Halloween night. "We'll be getting [Pierce] back after the bye," Spielman said. That'll be a big boost to the Vikings' defensive line as they go against the Cowboys' elite offense. Dallas's success on offense starts up front, so the Vikings will need Pierce, Dalvin Tomlinson, Danielle Hunter, and Everson Griffen to be on their A-game in that one.

Unfortunately, the Vikings will be without top cornerback Patrick Peterson for at least three games after he pulled his hamstring against the Panthers and was placed on injured reserve. At minimum, he'll miss the Cowboys, Ravens, and Chargers games, which is a tough stretch to miss because all three have excellent quarterbacks and receivers.

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However, Spielman doesn't anticipate Peterson being out any longer than that. Things can obviously change, but he expects Peterson to be back as soon as possible, which would be the Week 11 Packers game on November 21st.

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