Minnesota activated Smith from its reserve/COVID-19 list and designated Peterson for return Wednesday. Peterson went on IR with a hamstring injury Oct. 18. Should he return Sunday against the Packers, it will mark a minimum three-game absence for the decorated cornerback. Minnesota has 21 days to activate Peterson.
Smith missed two games after contracting the coronavirus, ending a four-season stretch without a multigame absence. But the five-time Pro Bowl safety will be back in uniform for the Vikings’ pivotal divisional matchup in Week 11. Pro Football Focus has graded Smith as a top-20 safety this season, bestowing such a distinction on offseason addition Xavier Woods as well.
After multiple down years to close his Arizona tenure, Peterson has fared better in Minnesota. The All-Decade corner has allowed a 59% completion rate in coverage, way down from the 67% figure of 2020. The veterans’ returns stand to aid a Vikings pass defense that ranks 14th through nine games.
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