Vikings without S Harrison Smith Sunday at Ravens due to COVID-19

The Minnesota Vikings will be without one of their best defensive players Sunday at the Baltimore Ravens as they try to get back to .500 on the season after losing to the Dallas Cowboys on Halloween night.

The Vikings announced Sunday morning that safety Harrison Smith has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and will not play Sunday. Players are put on the list for either testing positive, or being considered a high-risk close contact.

It’s bad news for a Vikings’ secondary already without top defensive back Patrick Peterson, who is out at least another two games due to a hamstring injury suffered at Carolina before the bye week. Smith has 60 tackles on the season, and one pass defended. It’ll be his first missed start since Week 17 of the 2019 season.

Smith said back during the offseason he had not gotten vaccinated for COVID-19. It's not known if that has since changed. Players not vaccinated who are on the COVID-19 list are out at least 10 days, which puts Smith's status for next Sunday at the Chargers in doubt.

Smith's designation came Sunday morning, reportedly after the team did an additional round of testing following Garrett Bradbury and Dakota Dozier each testing positive. Mason Cole is starting at center to replace Bradbury on Sunday.

To replace Smith, the Vikings have activated safety Myles Dorn from the practice squad.

The Vikings are also without star defensive end Danielle Hunter, who is out the rest of the season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle last Sunday against the Cowboys. It’s the same injury that ended Anthony Barr’s 2020 season. Minnesota is also without defensive tackle Michael Pierce, who is still dealing with an elbow injury and will miss his fourth straight game.

The Vikings are 3-4 after last Sunday's loss to the Cowboys, and a challenging four-game stretch continues Sunday at Baltimore, followed by a road trip to the L.A. Chargers and then a home game against the Green Bay Packers.