Vikings host Packers in border battle, looking to get back to .500

Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) makes a pass during the third quarter of a game between the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks on on September 26, 2021, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. ((Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images))

The Minnesota Vikings host the Green Bay Packers at noon Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, and they’re getting several key players back on defense as they look to get back to .500 for the second time this season.

Linebacker Anthony Barr, defensive back Patrick Peterson and safety Harrison Smith are all expected to play against the Packers. Barr missed last week’s win at the Chargers with a lingering knee issue. Peterson was activated from injured reserve on Saturday, after suffering a hamstring injury at the Carolina Panthers that forced him to miss three games. Smith has missed two games after testing positive for COVID-19 before the Vikings’ loss at Baltimore.

Garrett Bradbudy was activated this week from the reserve/COVID-19 list, but is still working his way back into playing shape. Mason Cole is expected to get the start at center after playing well the last two games in Bradbury's absence.

The Packers are without several key players for Sunday’s game. The list includes receiver Allen Lazard, running back Aaron Jones, offensive lineman David Bakhtiari, linebacker Rashan Gary and safety Vernon Scott.

The Vikings are looking for their second straight win, get to 5-5 on the season and continue their push to get into NFC Playoff consideration with eight games to play.