Friday Update: Cleveland has been ruled OUT, while Cameron Dantzler and Irv Smith Jr. are QUESTIONABLE.
Thursday update: Only changes are Garrett Bradbury was upgraded to full participant and C.J. Ham was placed on Reserve/COVID-19. Ezra Cleveland was a DNP again while Cam Dantzler, Irv Smith Jr., and Hercules Mata'afa remained limited. Original story below:
Vikings rookie right guard Ezra Cleveland didn't participate in the Vikings' first practice of the week on Wednesday. The Boise State product, who has had an up-and-down first four games in the starting lineup, is dealing with an ankle injury.
If Cleveland can't go against the Cowboys this Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, Brett Jones would presumably be in line for his first start since September 2018. Jones was recently signed to the active roster from the practice squad in the wake of the Vikings losing interior offensive linemen Pat Elflein (waived, picked up by Jets) and Dru Samia (Reserve/COVID-19).
Oli Udoh or Aviante Collins could also be options at right guard, but Jones was working with the first-team offense on Wednesday, according to pool reporter Courtney Cronin. He seems to be first in line if Cleveland, Garrett Bradbury, or Dakota Dozier were to miss time.
Practicing in a limited capacity were tight end Irv Smith Jr. (groin) and cornerback Cameron Dantzler (concussion), both of whom missed the Vikings' win over the Bears on Monday night. Getting Smith back would be big for an offense that missed his abilities as a blocker and pass-catcher, even though Tyler Conklin filled in adequately.
Dantzler has missed two straight games after taking a scary blow to the head/neck area against the Packers three Sundays ago. He has played just four full games out of a potential nine in his rookie season. If Dantzler is able to return this week, he would presumably replace Chris Jones in the starting lineup, joining Jeff Gladney and Kris Boyd at corner.
Getting Dantzler back would be big considering the Cowboys have one of the league's best wide receiver trios in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb. Dallas also might be getting quarterback Andy Dalton back this week after starting Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert in their past two games, which would make things more difficult for Minnesota's secondary.
C.J. Ham wasn't at practice, but his absence wasn't injury-related and there's no reason to expect him to miss Sunday's game.
Hercules Mata'afa (ankle) and Bradbury (shoulder) were also limited.
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