Vikings likely will have to stop Eddie Lacy without Linval Joseph

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings likely will be without nose tackle Linval Joseph on Sunday night, as they try to prevent Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy from posting his fifth consecutive 100-yard effort against them in the NFC North title game.

Joseph, who had returned Sunday from the foot injury that had kept him out of the previous three games and played 65 snaps against the New York Giants, was listed as doubtful for the Packers game after missing his third practice of the week on Friday with a foot injury.

His likely absence means Sharrif Floyd figures to start at nose tackle, where he'd played during the three games Joseph missed. Floyd did not practice on Friday because of a knee injury, but was listed as probable for Sunday's game.

Nose tackle Kenrick Ellis also could see a bigger role in a defensive tackle rotation with Floyd and Tom Johnson.

"He's done good," coach Mike Zimmer said of Ellis. "He's a big, physical guy. He's got some athletic ability. ... They're different guys. Linval's more powerful, probably, but he's a big guy, too."

Lacy has been almost as big of an irritant for the Vikings in their recent meetings with the Packers as Aaron Rodgers, who hasn't thrown for more than 212 yards in three games against Minnesota since Zimmer became its head coach. In those games, it has been Lacy who has burned a Vikings defense focused on stopping Rodgers.

Lacy's first 100-yard game of the season came in Week 11 against the Vikings, when he posted exactly 100 yards in the Packers' 30-13 win at TCF Bank Stadium.

"I would anticipate they're going to try and run the ball on us," Zimmer said. "They did good last time. But you still have to handle Rodgers."

Running back Adrian Peterson was a full participant in practice on Friday after resting his ankle and shoulder injuries Wednesday and Thursday. The NFL's rushing leader is probable for Sunday night's game, as are defensive end Everson Griffen, safety Harrison Smith and left tackle Matt Kalil, who left last Sunday's game with a lower leg injury after his right foot was stepped on.