Vikings-Colts Injury Report: Cameron Dantzler, Jack Doyle OUT for Week 2
Vikings rookie cornerback Cameron Dantzler won't play this week due to a rib injury, the team announced on Friday afternoon.
Dantzler led all Vikings corners with 64 snaps in Week 1 and was also the best of their trio of players at the position, according to Pro Football Focus. However, the third-rounder from Mississippi State didn't practice all week. It's unclear if the rib injury was something he suffered during the game or earlier this week.
With no Dantzler, the Vikings will presumably turn to fellow rookie Jeff Gladney, their second of two first-round picks in April. Gladney got off to a slow start to training camp as he continued to recover from offseason meniscus surgery, which allowed Dantzler to beat him out for a starting role.
Gladney played just nine snaps in the fourth quarter in Week 1, but was solid in that tiny sample size.
Mike Zimmer said Gladney has looked "good" so far in young NFL career. “Like all these young guys, it’s a continual work in progress," Zimmer said. "Working on techniques, working on alignments, working on the different things. But he’s a great kid, he’s tough, competitive, and I think he’s going to be a really good player in due time.”
The Vikings need Gladney to step up and play well as they look to get in the win column this year. It'll almost certainly be Mike Hughes, Holton Hill, and Gladney as the team's top three corners against the Colts. Hill will be one of the outside corners, and Hughes and Gladney could see time both on the boundary and in the slot.
"Wherever the team needs me to play, they can throw me in there and trust me to do my job, Hughes said on Thursday. "So, it allows me to be able to play inside and outside. I’m blessed to know those positions and for them to craft me into that role. At the end of the day, I look at it as a good thing. I don’t think there’s too much load on my shoulders, so I’m pretty comfortable with playing both those roles.”
How the Vikings corners perform against Colts receivers like T.Y. Hilton and Parris Cambell will be an important thing to watch during Sunday's game.
Jack Doyle OUT for Colts
For the Colts, the big injury news is that starting tight end Jack Doyle is out for the game with an ankle/knee designation. He was unable to practice all week. Indy's backup TE is Mo Alie-Cox, a 6'5", 267-pound former college basketball player at VCU. Alie-Cox has 15 career receptions for 226 yards and two touchdowns. Doyle has 246 career catches for over 2,000 yards and 18 touchdowns.
It's a big loss for Philip Rivers and Indy's offense. Doyle is not only a big part of the passing game, he's an important blocker.
The Colts also have five players listed as questionable: DE Justin Houston, WR Zach Pascal, CB Isaiah Rodgers, WR Michael Pittman Jr., and S Julian Blackmon. Rodgers, Pittman, and Blackmon are all rookies. Houston would be a big loss for the Colts' pass rush. If Pascal and/or Pittman can't go, the Colts would have to turn to Dezmon Patmon, Ashton Dulin, or Daurice Fountain at receiver.
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