Ability doesn't appear to be a problem with Vikings first-round draft pick Christian Darrisaw. Durability might be another matter as the 23rd overall pick will be unable to line up at left tackle for a fifth time in his first 12 NFL games.
Darrisaw, who suffered an ankle injury in last week's loss to the 49ers, was ruled out of Sunday's game at Detroit on Friday. Also out are running back Dalvin Cook (shoulder) and safety Cam Bynum (ankle). Questionable are cornerback Mackensie Alexander (ribs) and linebackers Eric Kendricks (biceps) and Anthony Barr (hamstring/knee). All three were listed as limited in practice Friday, indicating they are likely to play.
Fortunately for the Vikings, veteran swing tackle Rashod Hill will be making his 23rd career start, including six this season, against an 0-10-1 Lions team that ranks 29th in sacks per attempt (4.71%) and 29th against the run (133.9 yards per game).
"They have good [pass] rushers," coach Mike Zimmer said. "They bring some extra pressures. They do a good job with their disguises. We just have to make sure we're secure with the protections and make sure we're able to have tight ends chip and things like that."
Linebacker Charles Harris is the Lions' sack leader with four. He typically lines up over the right tackle.
Darrisaw missed the first three games after having two groin surgeries before the season. He played one special teams snap in Week 4 and was eased into his left tackle spot against the Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 5. He played 42% of the snaps in that 19-17 win.
Darrisaw started the next six games, playing 100% of the snaps in the first five before playing 69% against the 49ers.
After Sunday's game, the Vikings have only four days before playing host to the Steelers on "Thursday Night Football."
Pierce expected to play
The plan to get defensive tackles Michael Pierce and Dalvin Tomlinson back for the Detroit game is still on.
Zimmer said he anticipates Pierce being activated from injured reserve. Pierce hasn't played since Week 4 because of an elbow injury.
Tomlinson also practiced all week. He spent the 49ers game on the COVID-19 list, ending his streak of 74 consecutive starts since the Giants drafted him.
Peterson close to return
Zimmer was asked if there was a chance cornerback Patrick Peterson could be taken off the COVID-19 list in time to play Sunday?
"Maybe," Zimmer said. "He's close."
Just don't get your hopes up. Zimmer typically answers all "is-there-a-chance" questions with, "Maybe."
Peterson, who is vaccinated, was put on the COVID list Monday and can return with two negative tests taken at least 24 hours apart if he is asymptomatic.
Lions without Swift
Any upset vibes surrounding Sunday's game were dealt a blow Friday when the Lions ruled running back D'Andre Swift out with a shoulder injury.
Swift leads the Lions in rushing (555 yards, 4.0 average) and scoring (six touchdowns) and is second in receptions with 56, one behind tight end T.J. Hockenson.
In the first meeting this year, Swift had 11 carries for 51 yards and a go-ahead touchdown with 37 seconds left. He also had six catches for 53 yards.
"He's a very good back, runs really hard, good out of the backfield catching the ball, good on screens," Zimmer said. "But they still got Jamaal Williams, who is still a really good back. Power, does a lot of the same things, good at protection. And [Godwin Igwebuike] has great speed. I don't think it will change their offense too much."