Vikings could get injured defensive starters back for Giants game

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings' defense likely won't have to face Odell Beckham Jr. on Sunday night after the NFL suspended the New York Giants' receiver on Monday. The return of several players from injuries could tip the balance further in the Vikings' direction when the Giants have the ball.

Coach Mike Zimmer said on Monday he though there was a "good possibility" nose tackle Linval Joseph, linebacker Anthony Barr and safety Harrison Smith could be back for Sunday's game against the Giants, adding Joseph was nearly able to return from a foot injury in time for the Vikings' 38-17 win over the Chicago Bears. The Vikings made the decision to hold Joseph out on Saturday, Zimmer said, though he added "there's a possibility that you go in there and you re-injure it when it’s not quite totally there."

Smith, who's missed the Vikings' last two games with a hamstring injury, said last Friday his left leg wasn't quite where he wanted it to be. Another week of treatment, however, could put him in position to return for the Giants game. Barr hasn't played in the Vikings' last two games after re-aggravating a groin injury.

"I mean, they’re getting really close," Zimmer said. "We’ll just see."