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If linebacker Chad Greenway is unable to play this week with a broken rib and hand -- and it would seem like a good possibility that Greenway's 90-start streak could indeed come to an end -- second-year player Gerald Hodges might be next in line. Hodges filled in for Greenway at weak-side linebacker on Sunday, also seeing some time in the nickel package when Anthony Barr rushed from a defensive end position, and played especially well in run support, registering two tackles for loss.
"I thought he did some good things," coach Mike Zimmer said. "He got most of the reps in practice this week, so he did some good things. We have got to continue to get him going. He’s got a lot of athletic ability. I need to make sure he stays on his Ps and Qs as far as being disciplined and doing the right thing every play."
Hodges wasn't able to secure much playing time over an underwhelming cast at weakside linebacker last season, and said during training camp he wasn't as focused as he needed to be in his first season. This Vikings coaching staff has seen some potential in the 23-year-old, though, and his experience as a safety in college might help him be more effective in pass coverage if he's asked to play for the next several weeks. If Greenway is in his final year with the Vikings -- which seems possible, given his $8.8 million cap number in 2015 -- Hodges could have a larger role as Greenway's eventual replacement.
In case you missed it on ESPN.com:
A league source said Kyle Rudolph will need surgery to repair a sports hernia, and is expected to miss the next six weeks.
Matt Kalil needs to do a better job of not letting bad plays linger in his mind, Mike Zimmer says.
We conducted our weekly look at the Vikings' playing time from Sunday's game and what it means.
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter is "almost certain" Adrian Peterson won't play again this season.
Best of the rest:
Christian Ponder will likely be active this week, and is now one play away from getting back on the field, writes Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Among the Vikings' problems, Bridgewater will be fine at quarterback, Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune says.
Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com suggests the expectations for Zimmer's first season in Minnesota need to be adjusted in light of Peterson's situation and a rash of injuries.