News: Patterson (knee) is probable for Sunday's game against Carolina.
Impact: Patterson didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday, but his probable status indicates that was for rest purposes, and his injury didn't require any substantial recovery. Still, the second-year wideout's 2014 season seems doomed to disappointment, particularly after the emergence as Charles Johnson as one of the team's two lead wideouts alongside Greg Jennings.
News: Ford (hamstring) is questionable for Sunday's game against Carolina.
Impact: Ford only logged one limited practice this week, missing Wednesday and Thursday practices, so he might have trouble suiting up Sunday. Even if he does, the return of Kyle Rudolph all but assures that Ford will struggle to maintain fantasy relevance for the foreseeable future.
News: Floyd (knee) is questionable for Sunday's game against Carolina.
Impact: Floyd was able to log a limited practice Friday, but that was his first practice time of the week. If he sits out Sunday it will be a meager boost to a Carolina running game that might not have the personnel to capitalize, anyway.
News: Smith (shoulder/ankle) is probable for Sunday's game against Carolina.
Impact: Smith missed some practice time this week, but that was evidently for rest purposes rather than recovery. His status isn't in question for Sunday, and the playmaking safety is a fine on-paper IDP play given Cam Newton's accuracy issues of late.
News: Jennings (ribs) is probable for Sunday's game against Carolina.
Impact: Jennings practiced fully all week, so his health isn't in question, but his role and effectiveness both might be. Charles Johnson is emerging at wideout for the Vikings, and Jennings has just five catches for 42 yards and a touchdown on eight targets over the last two weeks. With that said, his average of 7.6 yards per target on the year is respectable given the unstable quarterback play he's dealt with.
News: Rudolph (abdomen) is probable for Sunday's game against Carolina.
Impact: Rudolph saw a huge increase in his workload during his second game back from injury against Green Bay on Sunday, playing 60 offensive snaps and catching three passes on five targets for 50 yards. The big target is a good candidate to make a push for top-12 status at tight end during the final weeks of the year.
News: Asiata (concussion) is probable for Sunday's game against Carolina.
Impact: Asiata practiced all week, including full practices Thursday and Friday, so he's ready to go for Sunday. With Jerick McKinnon (back) likely out, the Vikings figure to lean on some uncertain combination of Asiata, Ben Tate and Joe Banyard against the Panthers, though there's not much information regarding how that distribution of work might occur. As the incumbent starter following Adrian Peterson's absence, Asiata definitely has the seniority advantage. Tate is conventionally regarded as the more talented player, but he has very little experience in the Minnesota system after the Vikings claimed him off waivers just Wednesday of last week.
News: With Jerick McKinnon (back) doubtful against Carolina on Sunday, the Vikings will likely turn to an unclear combination of Matt Asiata, Joe Banyard and Tate at running back.
Impact: Tate did not play against Green Bay on Sunday, but that wasn't surprising given that he had been claimed by the team just four days prior. Still, even with an extra week of practice and McKinnon out of the way, Tate isn't guaranteed to exceed or even match the workloads of Asiata or Banyard barring further notice.
News: McKinnon (back) was not spotted at practice Friday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Matt Vansel reports.
Impact: McKinnon has been playing through the injury for a couple of weeks, but he has always practiced on Friday, so this absence is a notable -- and discouraging -- change. We'll update his status again after the Vikings release their official injury designations.
News: McKinnon will not play against Carolina on Sunday because of an injury to his lower back.
Impact: McKinnon didn't practice all week. He was listed as doubtful. The rookie said Friday his condition is nothing he "can't play through," but he confirmed he will be held out against the Panthers. That will mean more time in the backfield for Matt Asiata, Joe Banyard and perhaps Ben Tate.