WARE, England — The Vikings will have Dalvin Cook on Sunday against the Saints. They could have Za'Darius Smith on the field as well.
The Vikings listed Smith as questionable for Sunday's game after the edge rusher got his first practice action of the week on Friday. The Vikings landed in London early Friday morning and bused to the Hanbury Manor Marriott for their only full practice of the week in England. Coach Kevin O'Connell said Smith, who has been dealing with a foot injury, got "a little bit of everything" in a practice that included full-team work in the red zone, a 7-on-7 period and a team jog-through.
"Coming off the flight, we wanted to see how he felt," O'Connell said. "He got a little more of an extended warmup with [Vikings executive director of player health and performance] Tyler [Williams] and [head athletic trainer] Uriah [Myrie], and he was able to come down and take part in a good amount of practice. He truly will be a game-time decision, just with how he feels. He's one of our most important players, obviously, but I want him to feel good about playing. I think he's trending that way, but will be a game-time decision."
Cook, who was a full participant in the Vikings' final two practices of the week, did not carry an injury designation on the team's final injury report, indicating he'll be ready to play Sunday after sustaining a shoulder subluxation last week against the Lions.
"He had a good day yesterday and then got a plane, was ready to go today," O'Connell said. "It was a good practice today, so Dalvin's excited about the opportunity this weekend."
The Vikings also listed cornerback Andrew Booth as doubtful for the game with a quadriceps injury.
Dalton likely to start for Saints
With Saints quarterback Jameis Winston listed as doubtful because of a back injury that kept him from practicing all week in London, Andy Dalton is in line to start against the Vikings for his third different team in as many years.
Dalton completed 22 of 32 passes for 203 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in the Cowboys' 2020 win over the Vikings in Minneapolis, and was 33 of 48 for 325 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in the Bears' season-ending loss to the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in January. He hasn't thrown a regular-season pass for the Saints after signing with them this offseason, but would make his 149th career start on Sunday.
"I've had a lot of respect for Andy for a long time," O'Connell said. "You know he's going to be able to step right in and run their offense at a high level. When he's played that much football, you don't expect there to be any kind of nerves. We've got to get out to a fast start in the game."
The Saints will also be without wide receiver Michael Thomas, who is out because of a foot injury. New Orleans still has rookie Chris Olave, who's caught 17 passes for 268 yards this season, and veteran Jarvis Landry (though the receiver is questionable with an ankle injury). Running back Alvin Kamara is questionable for the Saints with a rib injury, as well.
Vikings begin Friday with clinic
As part of the Vikings' practice day on Friday, they conducted a football clinic with more than 100 children in England, O'Connell said.
"They were fired up," O'Connell said. "Their families were out here, and our guys got to spend some time with them pre-practice. As much as we can connect while we're here, it's really important to us. I think our players love being able to feel the passion of Vikings fans, and to be able to do it all over the world, it's something we're really excited about."