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Vikings' defense could get reinforcements against Steelers

Several starters could return for a critical Thursday night matchup.
Anthony Barr

The Minnesota Vikings received some good news on the injury front on Tuesday as several defensive starters are on track to return for Thursday night's matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It starts with Minnesota's starting linebackers who both made progress on Tuesday.

Anthony Barr told reporters that he will play against Pittsburgh after missing last week's loss to Detroit with a hamstring injury. Barr has been in and out of the lineup with a knee issue this season but has been relied upon as one of the cornerstones of Mike Zimmer's defense.

The Vikings should also have Eric Kendricks back as he deals with a biceps injury. Kendricks participated in Monday's walkthrough before practicing in full on Tuesday.

The secondary will also get a boost as Patrick Peterson was activated off the COVID-19/reserve list. Peterson missed last week after testing positive for the virus but practiced in full on Tuesday.

While the defense saw several players return, the status is much more unclear on the offensive side of the ball.

Adam Thielen's status is in doubt after missing practice for the second straight day. Thielen was injured on the first drive of the loss to the Lions and the high ankle sprain is a major obstacle to his availability against the Steelers.

On the other side, Dalvin Cook made his return to practice but at a limited capacity. Cook's shoulder injury kept him out last week, but Zimmer shot down reports that it would keep him sidelined until next week's game in Chicago.

With the season and potentially jobs on the line, it's possible the Vikings will be eager to get Cook back on the field.

The Vikings will practice again on Wednesday before issuing their final injury report for the matchup with the Steelers.

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