MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The Minnesota Vikings are at the Carolina Panthers Sunday in a battle of 0-3 teams, and they’ll be without starting center Garrett Bradbury for the third straight game.
Bradbury was limited in practice this week with a back injury, but Kevin O’Connell was optimistic he could return. He was listed as inactive 90 minutes before kickoff. It’s a similar back injury to the one that forced him to miss the last five regular season games last year. In his absence, Austin Schlottmann will get his third start at center.
Also inactive are Lewis Cine, who didn’t practice this week with a hamstring injury, Nick Muse and Khyiris Tonga. Jaren Hall will be the emergency quarterback, but not count towards the team’s active roster.
The Vikings will get debuts Sunday from Marcus Davenport, Dalton Risner and Cam Akers. Davenport signed with Minnesota in free agency to play on the defensive line, but has missed the first three games with an ankle injury. He is active for Sunday’s game. The Vikings signed Risner with injuries along the offensive line, and he’s expected to play against the Panthers. He could start at one of the guard spots, likely in place of Ed Ingram.
The Vikings traded for Akers two weeks ago. He had 22 carries for 29 yards and a touchdown Week 1 at Seattle, but was a healthy scratch two weeks ago against the San Francisco 49ers. He was inactive last week for the Vikings, as he tried to get up to speed on a new playbook.
The Vikings are looking to avoid an 0-4 start with the Kansas City Chiefs coming to Minneapolis next week. Only six teams in NFL history have made the playoffs after an 0-3 start, the most recent being the 2018 Houston Texans.