Should have role on offense
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer hinted that Nwangwu will have a role on offense Sunday against the Lions with top back Dalvin Cook (shoulder) ruled out for the contest, Chad Graff of The Athletic reports.
In the absence of Cook -- who could be sidelined until the Vikings' Week 15 game in Chicago due to a dislocated shoulder -- Minnesota will likely turn to Alexander Mattison as a three-down workhorse, a role he handled capably in place of an injured Cook in Weeks 3 and 5. Ameer Abdullah had served as Mattison's top understudy in those contests, but since been released and picked up by Carolina, Nwangwu is the lone healthy running back behind Mattison on the 53-man roster. Nwangwu, a rookie fourth-round draft pick, has just two carries to his name (for 16 yards) and has played only two snaps on offense through five appearances, but he's shown some playmaking abilities in space on special teams with two kickoff returns for scores in the past two weeks. Look for the Vikings to find ways to get the ball in Nwangwu's hands and take advantage of his 4.32-second 40-yard-dash speed when he's on the field, but he's still unlikely to see enough snaps and touches to make for a reliable fantasy option, even in deeper leagues.
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LB | MIN
Kendricks (illness) won't be available for Sunday's game against the Bears after the Vikings didn't reinstate him from the reserve/COVID-19 list prior to Saturday's deadline for Week 18 roster moves, Will Ragatz of SI.com reports.
Mannion will return to a backup role for Sunday's season finale against the Bears after head coach Mike Zimmer said Kirk Cousins (illness) will reclaim starting duties following his return from the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Minnesota activated Cousins (illness) from the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday afternoon, shortly after head coach Mike Zimmer said Cousins will start Sunday's game against Chicago, Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Cousins (illness) is on track to come off the reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of Sunday's game against the Bears, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.