2 key Rams injuries could be huge for Vikings' chances in LA

Overall, the Vikes are big underdogs. But there might be hope.
Publish date:

If the Vikings had no answers for a Bills team that got blown out in its first two games of the season, just imagine how bad the undefeated Los Angeles Rams could make them look on the road and on short rest. 

Las Vegas has taken notice of Minnesota's gigantic home flop against the Bills and has made the Rams a 7-point favorite for the prime-time matchup on Thursday Night Football. 

Quarterback Jared Goff is averaging 305 passing yards a game while completing 70 percent of his passes for six touchdowns and two interceptions. More importantly, he's had all day to throw, having been sacked just four times in three games. 

The Rams have a stout offensive line and the Vikings defensive line is coming off its worst game and there's no word yet if defensive end Everson Griffen will return to the team after missing the Bills game for a personal matter. 

"Yeah he's having a personal matter," coach Mike Zimmer said after Sunday's loss. "I'm going to leave it at that." 

Griffen didn't practice at all last week because of a knee injury so his status was already in question prior to the personal matter. 

Another injury concern for cornerback Trae Waynes, who left the game with an ankle injury and did not return, means the Vikings might have to rely on rookie cornerback Mike Hughes to play a lot against a very good Rams receiving corp. that includes the speedsters Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods, who have combined for 38 catches, 558 yards and two touchdowns. 

Oh, and don't forget about the game's most powerful runner in Todd Gurley, who topped 100 rushing yards in Weeks 1 and 3, and probably would've done so in Week 2 against Arizona had he not cramped up. 

One sign of hope

About the only glimmer of good news the Vikings are getting out of L.A. is that both starting cornerbacks, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, left Sunday's win over the Chargers with leg injuries. If one or both are limited or can't play Thursday, it would be a gift from the football gods for Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. 

That said, if Minnesota's patchwork offensive line looks as bad as it did against the Bills, Kirk Cousins won't have enough time to get them the ball because the likes of Michael Brockers, Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald will be all over him. 

The Rams boast the top-scoring defense in the NFL, allowing just 12 points per game. 

You can find all of BMTN's Minnesota Vikings 2018 season content in our Flipboard magazine, which you can read and follow below.

Next Up

Judge Peter Cahill - March 8

Chauvin trial: Judge says jury selection can move forward as scheduled

Judge Cahill rejected the prosecution's motion to delay the start of jury selection while they wait to learn if a third-degree murder charge will be added against Chauvin.

chauvin courtroom

Everything you need to know as Derek Chauvin's trial is set to begin

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday, but could be delayed.

jack riebel

Restaurant community rallies around famed Twin Cities chef battling cancer

Jack Riebel, chef and owner of The Lexington, is starting a new aggressive treatment — his fourth in a year — in hopes of beating cancer.


Gopher women snubbed from NCAA hockey tournament

Fair decision or was the selection committee biased?


Some Carver Co. schools, businesses reduce activities amid outbreak of COVID variant

The Minnesota Department of Health announced a 'rapidly growing' outbreak on Friday.


2 men pulled from burning car after crash in Minneapolis

The two men are in "serious and critical condition" but are expected to survive.

All Energy Solar Residential Installation

End 'renting' from your utility company and go solar

A solar installation is one of the few home improvements that actually pays for itself.

Byron Buxton

Twins talking contract extension with Byron Buxton

The Twins are 88-38 over the past two seasons with Buxton in the lineup.


Here's who's in and out for Vikings and Rams

Good news for the Vikings while questions remain for the Rams.

Rams could jump Vikings this week, tiebreakers don't favor MN

The Rams own the key tiebreakers over the Vikings.

In addition to TV feed, Vikes-Rams has streaming option

The Amazon Prime Video feed with Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer will employ an entirely new approach to calling a game.

5 huge games impacting the Vikings' playoff chances

What happens Sunday will have a direct impact on the Vikings.

5 huge games impacting the Vikings' playoff chances

What happens Sunday will have a direct impact on the Vikings.

Rick Spielman

Wide Left: Why the Rams are a glimpse into the Vikings' future

Paying your quarterback top dollar has its share of consequences.

Fans brawl in the stands during Vikings-Rams game

The guy in the photo was thrown through the air.