Minnesota Vikings (2-1) - SIC score 91.1
Running back Dalvin Cook will play this week after suffering a dislocated left shoulder in last week's win over the Lions.
Cook has a SIC score of 87, meaning the Pro Football Docs expect him to play effectively, even with the shoulder brace.
On offense, the Vikings are otherwise healthy. On defense, they have a few issues.
Slot corner Andrew Booth Jr. is questionable to play through a quad injury that caused him to miss Week 2.
Strong safety Harrison Smith suffered a concussion Week 2 and missed Week 3. He will play this week and hopefully will not have any lingering issues.
Minnesota ranks 16th in points scored and 19th in total yards. Their defense is 10th in points allowed but 31st in yards allowed.
New Orleans Saints (1-2) - SIC score 81.9
The New Orleans Saints have been seen as one of the few "all-in" teams in the NFL. But, injuries to their best players have hurt their chances of being a viable playoff team.
Jameis Winston, best known for his hilarious one-liners and 30 touchdowns, 30 interception season, suffered four fractured vertebrae in Week 1 but continued to play. The injury likely occurred here:
According to the Pro Football Docs, Winston likely suffered transverse fractures, which are painful but not structurally damaging. But Winston is also nursing an ankle injury and recovering from a torn ACL. His many injuries caused him to miss practice this week and likely the team's next game in London. Veteran backup Andy Dalton should take over duties as the starting quarterback, with Taysom Hill rotating using specific packages.
Saints star wide receiver Michael Thomas missed most of the last two seasons with an ankle injury that had multiple setbacks. This season he was primarily healthy before Week 3, only battling a hamstring injury in training camp. But has been ruled out this week with a toe injury.
Our Pro Football Docs say the injury will likely keep Thomas out one week.
Jarvis Landry suffered an ankle injury in last week's game versus the Carolina Panthers. Landry limped off the field and headed straight into the blue medical tent. He was announced to have suffered an ankle injury, effectively ending his day. Landry was limited in practice on Friday heading into the Week 4 matchup versus the Minnesota Vikings. But, according to the Pro Football Docs, Landry has little to no chance of playing with a high ankle sprain.
Look for first-round wide receiver Chris Olave to get a bunch of playing time while Landry and Thomas are nursing injuries. Last week, Olave had nine receptions for 147 yards.
But, some positive injury news for the Saints is that running back Alvin Kamara should be inching closer to becoming healthier after his rib injury. Kamara was limited in practice on Friday heading into Week 4 versus the Vikings played in the team's game last week but fumbled and didn't rush for more than 70 yards. Kamara's production should increase as his rib injury improves. Also, since the depth at receiver is winning, the Saints might need to lean on Kamara until their other starter returns to full health.
Vikings vs. Saints Week 4 Odds
Minnesota is favored by 3 points and the over/under is 41.5 points, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
The Vikings are +165 to win the NFC North, while the Saints are +550 to win the NFC South.
Sports Injury Central is the home of Pro Football Doc – the FanDuel Official Injury Expert – and a leading panel of former team physicians from the NFL, NBA, and MLB. The team analyzes injuries to give fans an edge with their wagering and fantasy sports activities. For Sports Injury Central's best bets based on SIC Score algorithms and Injury analysis check out our new feature: SIC Picks.