Minnesota Vikings Declare Center Out for Week 16

The Minnesota Vikings will be without a key piece on their offensive line for their Week 16 showdown with the New York Giants. The team has ruled out center Garrett Bradbury for Saturday's game with a back injury. Bradbury started the first 12 games of the season for the Vikings, but Saturday will mark his third straight missed contest. The center was in a small car accident last week, which aggravated his back and delayed his return. Austin Schlottman replaced him in the lineup over the previous two weeks.

At 11-3, the Vikings have already wrapped up the NFC North, but they're likely out of the race for the conference's top seed due to a Week 2 loss to the 13-1 Philadelphia Eagles; they would need the Eagles to lose out to have a chance at overtaking them. Unless they see a massive advantage in winning the second seed over the third seed, the Vikings can begin prioritizing their health as they prepare for the playoffs. That includes allowing Bradbury all the time he needs to recuperate.

Bradbury joined the Vikings as their 18th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Despite starting 45 games at center over his first three seasons with the team, the Vikings declined to pick up his fifth-year option earlier this year, meaning he's set to hit unrestricted free agency at the end of this season.

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