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Vikings big 3 defensive starters expected back against Giants

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It was possible last week that Linval Joseph, Anthony Barr and Harrison Smith were going to play against the Bears, but the Vikings used caution and let their injured defensive starters rest another few days.

But it appears that all three will be back on the field for Sunday Night Football against the New York Giants this week.

“I think they’ll play,” head coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday, according to the Star Tribune. “But I have no idea.”

“I feel great, this is the best I’ve felt in a while,” Barr said Wednesday, via 1500 ESPN. “So I look forward to getting back out there today, having a good week of practice and getting back out there on Sunday.”

Joseph has missed the last three games while Barr and Smith have each missed the last two games.

There is a chance that the Vikings-Giants game will be meaningless in terms of impacting their playoff chances. In that case, Zimmer could choose to rest his starters and/or players coming back from injury. The situation was explained by Pro Football Talk:

"If the Packers and Falcons both lose on Sunday afternoon, the Vikings’ game on Sunday night becomes meaningless for their playoff chances: In that scenario, the Vikings would have already clinched a playoff spot, and whether that playoff spot is as a wild card or as NFC North champion would be determined when they play the Packers in Week 17."

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