Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Giants Injury Preview

Sports Injury Central
Jan 1, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26)
Jan 1, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants, SIC score 86.4

Much like their opponents on Sunday, the Giants finished the season with a negative point differential on the backs of surprising quarterback performances and a game-breaking offensive talent.

Saquon Barkley gained 1,650 yards and rushed for 10 touchdowns in 16 games, posting his best season since he suffered a torn ACL in September 2020.

Barkley and Daniel Jones’ rushing production – 708 yards and seven touchdowns on 7.5 attempts per game – became the offensive focus after losing wide receivers Sterling Shephard, Wan’Dale Robinson, and Kadarius Toney.

Richie James has 37 receptions for 378 yards and four scores since Week 11 and Darius Slayton caught 25 of 40 targets for 458 yards and two touchdowns in Weeks 7-13. One of the two wideouts has led the Giants in receiving yards in 10 of the last 13 games. 

Kenny Golladay hauled in two receptions for 30 yards with an impressive touchdown catch in Week 18, accounting for over a third of his production this season. 

The Giants’ top-four pass-rushers, Leonard Williams, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Dexter Lawrence, and Azeez Ojulari, only played in three games together this season, including their playoff-deciding  20-12 win over the Commanders in Week 15.

Williams, SIC score 67, suffered a neck injury in Week 13 and has missed two-plus games since while Ojulari has played in only seven games – posting 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles – due to calf and ankle injuries.

Both defensive ends, along with cornerback Adoree Jackson, are expected to return to practice this week after missing Week 18. 

The pass defense, SIC score 77.4, has posed the biggest questions for the team all season and remains without their top two cornerbacks.

In the Giants’ Week 16 loss to Minnesota without Jackson or No. 2 Aaron Robinson, Justin Jefferson had 12 catches on 16 targets for 133 yards and one touchdown and T.J. Hockenson brought in 13 of 16 targets for 109 yards and two scores.

Minnesota Vikings, SIC Health Score 90.2

The Vikings went 13-4 and will host at least one playoff game despite posting a negative-three point differential.

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Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, and the Minnesota offense will now face a resistant Giants’ defense without their starting and backup right tackle and potentially their starting and backup center and have a rush offensive SIC score of 81.6.

Garrett Bradbury is expected to return to practice this week but missed the last five games with a back injury.

In those five games, the NFC North champions rushed for 440 yards on 3.7 yards per carry with a 3.39% rushing touchdown rate and a 7.42% sack rate. In the first 12 games, the Vikings rushed for 1,221 yards on a 4.3 average, scored on 4.9% of their rush attempts, and allowed a sack on 6.12% of Cousins’ dropbacks.

Dalvin Cook, SIC score 94, suffered a minor left knee injury in Week 18 but should play without issue.

The opportunistic defense, SIC score 91.4, was without pro-bowl safety Harrison Smith with knee soreness and Za’Darius Smith for personal reasons, but are expected to get them both back vs. the Giants.

Cornerback Cameron Dantzler is questionable after missing seven of the last nine games while fellow defensive backs Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth are on IR. 

Giants vs. Vikings Wild Card Odds

The Vikings are favored by a field goal in Minnesota and the total points for the contest is set at 48.5 with -110 odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Featured anytime touchdowns scorers include Dalvin Cook at -135, Saquon Barkley at -125, Justin Jefferson at +110, Daniel Jones at +200, and the NY Giants defense at +700. 

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