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Vikings-Panthers Injury Report: Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson Good to Go

The Vikings will be without Michael Pierce and Ben Ellefson against the Panthers.

Vikings fans can breathe a little bit easier for the next 48 hours knowing their offense will be at just about full strength against the Panthers on Sunday.

None of Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, or Adam Thielen were listed on the team's final injury report ahead of a crucial game in Charlotte, meaning all three will play. That's great news for the Vikings, who need this win and are facing a tough task against an excellent Carolina defense.

Cook will return after missing two of the past three games with an ankle injury. He was able to participate fully in practice this week for the first time since hurting his ankle against the Cardinals back in Week 2. Cook averaged 126 yards from scrimmage on 25 touches per game in the first two contests, but didn't look like his full explosive self when he returned to face the Browns in Week 4. Now he's had time to recover and should be closer to 100 percent, even if he's not all the way there.

Jefferson and Thielen both missed the first two practices of the week with ankle and foot injuries, respectively, but that was likely just precautionary. Both of the Vikings' top receivers are good to go for this week's game. 

The same is true for linebacker Anthony Barr, running back Alexander Mattison, and several others who were listed on the lengthy injury reports on Wednesday and Thursday. That also includes rookie kick returner Ihmir Smith-Marsette, who missed the past two games with a toe injury.

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The Vikings will be without two players: nose tackle Michael Pierce, who will miss a second straight game, and blocking tight end Ben Ellefson. Armon Watts, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Sheldon Richardson will share the load at defensive tackle with Pierce out again; that rotation was effective against the Lions. DE D.J. Wonnum also had a lot of success rushing the passer from the interior on passing downs.

With no Ellefson, the Vikings might elevate 33-year-old Luke Stocker from the practice squad to the active roster on Saturday. The 11-year veteran was just signed to the PS earlier this week. Mike Zimmer said Friday that Stocker has "come on quick" this week. Brandon Dillon could also be an activation candidate, as he has significantly more time in the offensive system. Tyler Conklin and Chris Herndon are the two tight ends currently on the active roster who will play.

For the Panthers, RB Christian McCaffrey has officially been ruled out, along with LB Shaq Thompson. Those are two big losses. Cornerback C.J. Henderson is questionable.

Kickoff is at 12 p.m. central time from Charlotte on Sunday. The Vikings will be breaking out their white jerseys, white pants uniform combo for the first time this season.

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