Sendejo (concussion), who was a limited practice participant Wednesday, seems to be, “on track to start” in Sunday’s NFC championship game in Philadelphia, Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com reports.
Suiting up this weekend will depend on Sendejo’s progress through the concussion protocol, but he’s through enough of the five steps to have taken part in individual drills Wednesday, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com. Sendejo would improve his odds to play with a full practice by the end of the week.
Sendejo’s return would put the Vikings’ top-ranked defense at nearly 100 percent entering Sunday’s game. The only question mark is backup defensive lineman Shamar Stephen, who is dealing with a knee injury.
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Sendejo suffered his concussion after absorbing a block from Saints receiver Michael Thomas in the third quarter. Sendejo, who had intercepted Saints quarterback Drew Brees in the second quarter, walked off the field under his own power.
Anthony Harris did a decent job filling in for the injured Sendejo and even came up with a big-time tackle to stop the Saints on 3rd and 1 during their final offensive drive of the game. If Sendejo is unable to suit up on Sunday against the Eagles, Harris will likely start in his place.
There has been a lot of talk about whether the hit on Sendejo was intentional or malicious, which is something that Thomas adamantly denied on Twitter when he got into it with Vikings analyst Ron Johnson of Fox 9 the other day.
Vikings star free safety Harrison Smith, who is definitely in the running for the Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, was not too happy about the blindside hit on Sendejo and thought it was illegal.
Sendejo continues to be a huge part of the Vikings’ success this year on defense, as he racked up 80 tackles and two interceptions during the regulars season.