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

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

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.

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