Vikings down to just two true defensive ends for Week 5

EAGAN, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings are down to just two defensive ends ahead of Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Second-year defensive end Tashawn Bower was ruled out Friday with an ankle injury, as were cornerbacks Trae Waynes (concussion) and Marcus Sherels (ribs).

The Vikings will also be without Pro Bowl defensive end Everson Griffen, who is dealing with mental health issues that caused him to miss the last two games.

Asked this week about Griffen's status, coach Mike Zimmer said he has received "no clarity" regarding when the veteran would return.

The only true edge rushers on the roster available to play Sunday are Danielle Hunter and Stephen Weatherly, who has been filling in for Griffen since Week 3.

Linebacker Anthony Barr has been utilized as a pass rusher on 32 snaps over four games and could be an option. Zimmer praised Barr earlier in the week for his speed off the edge and utilizing his hands better in pass-rushing situations.

Whether Barr fills that role Sunday is up in the air.

"Possibly. I don't know. We'll have to see," Zimmer said. "I'm not going to tell you guys what we're going to do in the game, so it's kind of silly to ask."

With multiple absences on the defensive line, there's also a chance that rookie Jalyn Holmes could be active for the first time this season. Holmes was a rotational edge rusher at Ohio State but isn't a true 4-3 defensive end, which is why the Vikings chose to move him to work behind Sheldon Richardson and Tom Johnson on the inside.

Richardson notched 94 snaps as a defensive end last season in Seattle. The Vikings could choose to experiment with the 27 year-old-tackle by moving him outside in certain situations and utilizing Johnson at 3-technique tackle.

Rookie Mike Hughes is expected to start in place of Waynes, who he replaced during the second half of the Rams game.