Hutchinson might be next to shut it down

The Vikings recently put Tarvaris Jackson and Chris Cook on injured reserve. Brett Favre might also be done for the season (and his career) if his shoulder doesn't respond. Now Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson admits questions about the rest of his season are fair.

The Vikings shut down Chris Cook and Tarvaris Jackson in the past week. Many believe Brett Favre has unofficially been shut down as far as playing in concerned. Could Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson be next?

Hutchinson has been ruled out of Monday's game with the Bears with a broken thumb that remains heavily casted. Head coach Leslie Frazier said that the status of Hutchinson remains contingent to the ongoing swelling his injured thumb sustains. But that problem is one that is recurring and isn't likely to change significantly over the last couple of games.

"It's the swelling where the break is," Hutchinson said. "It makes it hard to do any kind of punching with it and pushing directly on the break."

It seems as though the fates have thrown Hutch a bad hand this season. Last year, as the Vikings rolled to a 12-4 season, Hutchinson endured one of the most trying seasons of his professional career. He suffered a shoulder injury early in the year and, despite almost constant pain, found a way to play through it. Now something as seemingly insignificant as a thumb injury could put him on the shelf.

"It's one of those weird things," Hutchinson said. "It's like a toe (injury). You wouldn't think one little thing would really shut down a whole operation, considering I've played with shoulder injuries, knee injuries, ankles and other things. As a left guard with your inside hand – which is where you get your strength – and not being able to stick it in there, it becomes a bear-hug, grabbing thing. As much as I want to play, it comes down to what is best for the team."

So, is Hutchinson going to play again this season? It doesn't sound like it, because his injury isn't one that, in the short term, appears to be getting any better.

"It's a valid question," Hutchinson said. "It was broke two weeks ago. It's broke now. I guess it would be more of a personnel decision from that standpoint. I'm still going to have to wear (the cast) and, as much as it protects it, it limits."

SUNDAY NOTES

  • Vikings chief marketing officer Steve LaCroix said Saturday that, based on tickets that have been returned prior to game time, fans with tickets will get into TCF Bank Stadium Monday night. LaCroix said, "We are very confident that everyone will be able to get in the building on game night. Come down if you have a ticket. Don't be worried about getting turned away. We feel very, very good about you getting into the building."

  • Adrian Peterson practiced Saturday and, while listed as questionable, is expected to start Monday night. Peterson wasn't in the locker room following practice. Typically Peterson is made available to the media, but was nowhere to be found in the post-practice locker room Saturday.

  • Expecting a larger-than-usual need for mass transit to get into and out of TCF Bank Stadium, Metro Transit will have additional buses running to and from the stadium before and after Monday's game.

  • Monday will mark the third straight road game in which the Bears have played against an opposing quarterback who spent the first half of the season as his team's third-string quarterback.

  • The Bears practiced at the Northwestern University's outdoor facility Saturday in hopes of simulating what they might expect Monday at the Gophers home stadium.

  • If the Packers (without Aaron Rodgers) lose at New England tonight, the Bears clinch the NFC North title with a win against the Vikings Monday.


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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