The Wild Card Round of the 2020 NFL Playoffs is set to begin this weekend, and one huge rematch from two years ago will take place in the “Big Easy.” The New Orleans Saints have been knocked out of the playoffs the last two years on the final play of a game, and they have revenge on their minds. As they prepare to face the Minnesota Vikings, though, both teams are dealing with injuries that will hurt their defensive units on Sunday.
Two years ago, the “Minnesota Miracle” happened on the final play of the game and gave the Vikings a victory in the playoffs. The Saints ended up going home after being knocked out of the postseason and vowing to never let that happen again.
Last year, the Saints lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship thanks to the infamous “non-call,” but nothing could be done about that.
As the Saints prepare for a visit from the Vikings, they are relatively healthy according to the final injury report of the week. The official website of the New Orleans Saints released it on Friday afternoon and two players are listed as officially out against Minnesota.
- CB Eli Apple – Ankle
- FB Zach Line – Knee
The addition of Janoris Jenkins already had Apple’s playing time in jeopardy, and his injury will only add to that. Otherwise, the Saints are looking healthy for Sunday’s Wild Card game, but the Vikings will be without two key defensive leaders.
Vikings injury report for Sunday:
Out: Mackensie Alexander and Mike Hughes
Two huge losses in the Vikings’ secondary leading to a matchup against Drew Brees.
“We’ll find a way,” Zimmer said.
— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) January 3, 2020
As reported by the Star Tribune, the Vikings will be without two of their top four cornerbacks when facing New Orleans’ dangerous passing attack.
- CB Mackensie Alexander – Knee
- CB Mike Hughes – Neck (Place on Injured Reserve)
With Drew Brees firing on all cylinders and making targets out of Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Taysom Hill, and virtually every other player on the roster, this is not good news for Minnesota. The Vikings did sign cornerback Marcus Sherels to help add depth to the roster, but they will rely heavily on Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes, along with Kris Boyd and Holton Hill.
The Vikings are getting running back Dalvin Cook back after he missed the past two games with a shoulder injury.
— NFL (@NFL) December 30, 2019
If the New Orleans Saints win this game, they will go on to face the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. If the Minnesota Vikings win, they will head to San Francisco to take on the 49ers in the Divisional Round. Despite the injury reports citing key players as out for both teams, the 2020 NFL Playoffs are going to be quite exciting, with many big games in the opening weekend.