The status of three key Vikings starters is in doubt ahead of their game against the Packers.


The status of three key Vikings starters is in doubt ahead of their matchup against the Packers.

The COVID-19 conundrum for the Minnesota Vikings continues.

While several players, including Harrison Smith and Garrett Bradbury, have returned to team activities this week following a recent bout with the virus, four others are on the verge of being placed on the COVID-19 reserve list and missing Sunday’s matchup with the Green Bay Packers.

On Wednesday, starting defensive end DJ Wonnum and right tackle Brian O’Neill tested positive for COVID-19, then negative, forcing the two starters to miss practice, according to KSTP’s Darren Wolfson.

Starting slot cornerback Mackensie Alexander and tight end Chris Herndon were given the same “non-injury related” absence from practice as Wonnum and O’Neill, implying that Alexander and Herndon may have tested positive on Wednesday as well.

The COVID-19 reserve list currently has five players from the 53-man roster and practice squad.

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False Positives

The Vikings are confident that they collected false positive tests on Wednesday, according to Wolfson’s report. This is encouraging news.

“Brian O’Neill tested positive this morning, but then tested negative a few hours later, according to my sources.”

He was unable to practice because he was held in custody.

He’ll be tested again tomorrow.

“We’ll see what that test says,” Wolfson said on the Climbing the Pocket podcast, “but there’s a level of confidence that the original test was a false positive.”

“It’s the same with DJ Wonnum.”

On Mackensie Alexander and Chris Herndon, I’m still waiting for a response.

I know there were four false positives because I heard it from several different sources many hours ago.”

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“This morning, O’Neill tested positive, but a few hours later, he tested negative.

He was taken out of practice and will be tested again tomorrow.”

– Tonight on Vikings Happy Hour, @DWolfsonKSTP

Doogie talks about the Vikings and more (hashtag)Vikings.

https:t.cogpQclp3mpA pic.twitter.comO5ABpGbUBP https:t.cogpQclp3mpA

November 18, 2021 — Climbing the Pocket (@Climb_ThePocket)

“Wonnum is fully vaccinated and that he is feeling fine and has no symptoms,” a source told Pioneer Press beat writer Chris Tomasson.

Following Danielle Hunter’s season-ending torn pectoral injury, the Vikings’ defensive end depth has dwindled.

Kenny Willekes was brought in to give the show more depth.

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