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Rhodes returns, Floyd sits out of practice as Vikings prepare for Patriots

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Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes returned to practice on Thursday, while defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd missed practice for a second straight day.

Rhodes injured his groin and Floyd his shoulder during the Vikings 34-6 win in St. Louis last week.

Rhodes told the Pioneer Press Wednesday he had planned to take it day by day this week.

"If I'm ready to go by Friday, I can't sit there and worry about the injury; I have to go out there and play," Rhodes told the newspaper. "I can't sit there and think about the injury at all."

Floyd meanwhile missed practice again on Thursday. He suffered the shoulder injury late in the Vikings win.

According to the Star Tribune, there is a good chance both will play against the Patriots.

The Vikings defense will be tested by New England. In addition to future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots also have one of the best tight ends in the game today – Rob Gronkowski.

Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards told reporters Gronkowski presents a lot of challenges.

"Each week there is whole different set of problems. From the different types of receivers that you face, the different backs that you face. He's a good receiver for them. He does an excellent job at the tight end. He's one of the top guys in the league at that position. He missed a lot of time last year with injuries. You could see him in the game, he's still a good matchup down the field, a tough matchup for us defensively."

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