When the Vikings and Lions met earlier this season, Minnesota won in Detroit without an offensive touchdown. Since that week two game the Vikings' offense has continued to show signs of weakness.
The bad news from Friday's practice is that wide receiver Percy Harvin is officially listed as doubtful on the injury report. Rookie Jarius Wright is active for the first time this season and could see a healthy dose of playing time if Harvin doesn't play.
The other injury updates were both positive and negative.
Tight end John Carlson is probable to play for the first time since suffering a concussion three weeks ago against Arizona. Leslie Frazier says Carlson had a "good week" of practice and will play Sunday barring any setbacks.
The injury news for defensive lineman Letroy Guion isn't as hopeful. He's listed as doubtful with turf toe.
Getting the other tight end -- Kyle Rudolph -- involved is something Christian Ponder will try and do against the Lions. Ponder did point out that teams "are doing a good job of taking him away.'' The Lions held Rudolph to two catches and eight yards in the first meeting this year.
In the week four win the Vikings scored two special teams touchdowns. Frazier said "it was obvious" that Detroit had some flaws that could allow the Vikings to score on kick or punt returns. But don't expect that to happen again. Frazier says Detroit's special teams unit is greatly improved.
The next four games for the Vikings are against Detroit, the Bears, Packers and Bears again. That's four straight NFC North opponents. Linebacker Erin Henderson says it's a stretch that could "make or break" the season.
Defensive end Brian Robison says the Lions will be a challenge and he expects the game to be a "little chippy." Robison thinks the Lions' running game has drastically improved, giving them a far more balanced offense.
The Pioneer Press has five keys the Vikings need to focus on to win this week. Check them out right here.