Minnesota tackle Riley Reiff (knee), guard Jeremiah Sirles (knee) and defensive end Stephen Weatherly (knee) also missed practice.
The Vikings have ridden a stingy defense to the top of their division. No opponent has scored 20 points on them since the Pittsburgh Steelers thumped them 26-9 in Week 2.
Vikings right defensive end Everson Griffen has been a huge part of that success with nine sacks in just seven games.
First of all, Everson is a great person, a tough competitor, Zimmer said. He’s going to give you a full day’s work. He has power, strength and speed. He has excellent hands, excellent get off. Here we kind of work on sacks as a team, and Everson is getting them this year.
Protecting quarterback DeShone Kizer from Griffen would be challenge enough for the Browns if Joe Thomas were still in the lineup, but he isn’t. The 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle is on injured reserve recovering from surgery to repair a torn left triceps.
The controversy didn’t end even when Roethlisberger and the Steelers rebounded last week with a huge win in Kansas City. That’s because media reports surfaced claiming wide receiver Martavis Bryant had demanded a trade because of his role in the offense. Bryant’s frustration continued after the Bengals win when he took a shot at fellow wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster on social media before deleting the message.
All of this comes on the heels of Brown’s antics last season, when he streamed a Mike Tomlin postgame speech on Facebook that featured Pittsburgh’s head coach calling New England a— h—s and telling his players to stay low-profile in comments about the Patriots prior to the AFC title game. The incident became a week-long distraction prior to New England’s lopsided win.
Maybe these occurrences have become so frequent that Steelers players didn’t even blink while this year’s team was getting back on track. Or maybe the impact is being overblown by outsiders who don’t understand the unique locker-room dynamic that develops for every NFL team.