Preseason notes: 13 Vikings won’t play vs. Raiders; 49ers hurting too

The Minnesota Vikings announced on Sunday that the team would be missing 13 players for the preseason opener against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Among the notable scratches are running back Dalvin Cook, cornerback Patrick Peterson, quarterback Kirk Cousins, wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, tight end Irv Smith and safety Harrison Smith.

Most of those players are being held out without reported injuries, but a few of them have notable ailments.

Cousins was previously ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19, which head coach Kevin O’Connell announced Friday.

Smith had right thumb surgery Aug. 2 that continues to keep the veteran tight end out.

Guard Chris Reed was signed this offseason to provide depth along the offensive line, but he is also dealing with injury, according to reporting from the Minnesota Star-Tribune, as are wide receiver Thomas Hennigan and defensive end Jullian Taylor.

Cousins, 33, is coming off a season in which he passed for 4,221 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions on a 66.3 completion percentage in earning his third Pro Bowl selection.

Smith, 24, has 66 career receptions for 676 yards and seven touchdowns in two NFL seasons.

–The Vikings may have company with their next opponent in regards to challenging roster navigation.

San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill suffered a hamstring injury against the Green Bay Packers Friday that is expected to keep him out a few weeks, the team confirmed Saturday.

Brunskill, 28, has started every game at right guard for the 49ers the last two seasons, though he was moved to center this offseason to compete for the starting center job in place of the retired Alex Mack.

Without Brunskill, the middle of the 49ers offensive line takes on a dramatically inexperienced look, which is a less than ideal situation for second-year quarterback Trey Lance to try to operate behind.

Jake Brendel, the other candidate at center, has just three starts in his career.

Aaron Banks, the likeliest starter at left guard, got just five snaps last year as a rookie.

And an actual rookie, Spencer Burford, is slotted in at right guard.

Overall, Brunskill has started 40 of 47 games in his three-year career.

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