Vikings without three key defensive starters again in Week 15

Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph was inactive for a third straight game in Week 15.
Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

Three of the Minnesota Vikings’ top defensive starters were inactive for the team’s Week 15 matchup versus the Chicago Bears. Defensive tackle Linval Joseph (foot), safety Harrison Smith (knee/hamstring) and linebacker Anthony Barr (groin/hand) were all ruled out before the game.

Via the Vikings’ official Twitter account:

Smith and Barr were ruled out on Friday. This is the second straight week these two playmakers have been sidelined.

Joseph was questionable for game day, but the Vikings did not risk playing him at less than full strength. He has been out of the lineup for three consecutive weeks.

The Vikings entered Week 15 with three losses in their four previous games. The absences of Joseph, Smith and Barr certainly has a lot to do with the team’s slide.

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