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Zimmer Provides Update on Potential Returns by Several Vikings

EAGAN, Minn. — The list of Vikings on the Reserve/COVID-19 list could get shorter this week.

Although the Vikings haven't made any roster moves, Head Coach Mike Zimmer confirmed Monday that center Garrett Bradbury and guard Dakota Dozer were able to return to Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

"Yeah, Dakota was here today. Bradbury was here today," Zimmer said. "We actually anticipate that Harrison Smith will get here Wednesday. Gotta think who else, [Kenny] Willekes, he's got to pass a couple tests. … [Ryan] Connelly will be back Wednesday or Thursday, I think."

Bradbury and Smith have missed the past two games, with offseason acquisition Mason Cole and 2021 draft pick Camryn Bynum filling in at the respective center and safety positions.

Willekes had been elevated last week as a COVID-19 roster replacement before landing on the Reserve/COVID-19 list himself. Connelly and practice squad tackle Timon Parris were placed on Reserve/COVID-19 lists on Nov. 8. Practice squad fullback Jake Bargas landed there Monday.

Cole participated in a media session Monday and was asked about Dozier and Bradbury.

"Saw Dakota today for the first time, and he's doing good. I don't want to speak on his behalf too much, but he's doing good. It was good to see him, good to have him back in the building," Cole said. "And Garrett is good, too. Saw him today for the first time, but Garrett's been a big help for me the last two weeks. He's been dialed in, just helping me in any way possible from home, so that's been big for me.

"Our room has been good, though. We've got a really tight O-line room," Cole continued. "I think we handled the chaos the last couple weeks of just not knowing what was going to happen with COVID and if anybody was going to test positive and what not, so it's been good in that sense, how we handled the chaos, but it'll definitely be good to have Dakota and Garrett back."

Zimmer said the Vikings won't know the full status of any player until later this week as Minnesota (4-5) prepares to host Green Bay (8-2). The Packers lead the NFC North and currently hold the NFC's No. 1 seed.

Asked about getting Smith and Anthony Barr, who missed last week with a knee injury, back by Sunday, Zimmer said, "I'm hopeful."

Minnesota also will learn more about the status of cornerback Patrick Peterson, who is eligible to return from Injured Reserve for the first time this week. Peterson has missed the previous three Vikings games after suffering a hamstring injury late at Carolina in Week 6.