EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings could enter the playoffs with a patchwork offensive line after their injury list once again grew during Sunday’s 41-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
The litany includes:
• Right tackle Brian O’Neill, who suffered a “pretty significant” calf injury Sunday, coach Kevin O’Connell said Monday, and will miss the team’s regular-season finale this weekend at the Chicago Bears. O’Connell did not rule out O’Neill for the playoffs but said he had been seeking additional information from outside doctors Monday morning. Veteran Oli Udoh will fill in for him this week and possibly beyond.
• Backup center Austin Schlottmann, starting his fourth consecutive game in place of the injured Garrett Bradbury, suffered a fractured left fibula Sunday. Backup guard Chris Reed filled in at center and is on track to start Sunday against the Bears.
• Bradbury has missed four games because of a back injury and hasn’t practiced at all since he was involved in a car accident Dec. 20. O’Connell said “there is hope” that Bradbury can return for the playoffs but said the first step is to “get him some real practice reps to see how that thing responds.”
• Backup tackle Blake Brandel, who started three games earlier this season in place of left tackle Christian Darrisaw, has been on injured reserve since tearing an MCL in Week 14. O’Connell said there is a chance that Brandel could return for the playoffs as well.
O’Connell had planned to huddle with general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah earlier this week to discuss possible free agents and other roster moves to backfill depth at center and tackle.
Meanwhile, with his team in play for the NFC’s No. 2 seed, O’Connell said he was still working through plans for using starters and backups Sunday against the Bears. But asked whether he would sit prominent players such as quarterback Kirk Cousins and receiver Justin Jefferson, O’Connell said: “I think it would probably be more subtle than that, just knowing that the 2-seed is still available for us.”