Second-year safety Harrison Smith, drafted in the first round in 2012, suffered a turf toe injury Sunday against the Carolina Panthers that will keep him for at least the team's Monday night game against the New York Giants and might require surgery.
"We are discussing that possibility. We also are looking at the possibility of not having to do any surgery," head coach Leslie Frazier said Thursday. "We're still going through some of that. We'll determine it here pretty soon.
"We're getting information from different doctors on how we should approach it and we're going to talk about it some more today and probably come to a conclusion in the next day or two."
Turf toe is a sprain of the ligaments around the big toe.
"It sucks," Smith told Viking Update on Wednesday. "It's hard to believe a turf toe type of injury can mess you up this much."
On Wednesday, Smith was in a walking boot. On Thursday, he was in a cast that went up just below his knee.
The Vikings are considering if they should place him on injured reserve/designated to return, a decision that is likely tied to whether or not he has surgery. That would require to miss at least six games.
Andrew Sendejo, who played 22 snaps in place of Smith on Sunday and 42 in place of Jamarca Sanford against the Pittsburgh Steelers, will start for Smith against the New York Giants Monday night.
Smith is tied for the team lead with two interceptions, is third on the team with 41 tackles, including one for a loss, has three passes defensed, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.
Last year, Smith became only the second rookie in team history with two interception returns for touchdowns, was named to the 2012 All-Rookie Team and was second on the team with 129 tackles.
"Harrison is an outstanding young safety and he's done a great job for us and in my mind is one of the best safeties in our league, but Andrew, Mistral (Raymond), Robert Blanton, those guys will do a good job when they're in there. Jamarca will be out there. They're all going to do a good job. They worked hard in practice and they'll prepare well and they'll play well. But Harrison, he's a big-play guy for us, so we're going to miss him."
Up until missing suffering the turf toe that caused him to miss the final 24 snaps of the game, Smith had missed only five snaps in the four previous games.
Only Chad Greenway, Erin Henderson and Jared Allen have played a higher percentage of defensive snaps than Smith's 92 percent.
Smith also suffered a turf toe injury in high school.
PETERSON ADDED TO INJURY REPORT
RB Adrian Peterson missed Wednesday's practice to attend the funeral of his 2-year-old son in Sioux Falls, S.D. When he returned to practice Thursday, he was limited with a hamstring injury.
It was the first time this season the 2012 NFL MVP has appeared on the weekly report because of injury.
Also limited for the Vikings were CB Xavier Rhodes (ankle), DT Kevin Williams (knee) and WR Jarius Wright (ankle). All are expected to play Monday night.
CB A.J. Jefferson (ankle), S Harrison Smith (toe) and K Blair Walsh (hamstring) didn't participate in Thursday's practice. Smith won't play, Jefferson's status is unknown, and Walsh said he will be able to kick field goals but is uncertain about kicking off. Punter Jeff Locke handled the kickoff duties for Walsh on Sunday.
TE Rhett Ellison (knee), QB Christian Ponder (rib) and C John Sullivan (hand) were all full participants in Thursday's practice.
For the Giants, RB David Wilson (neck) has been ruled out of Monday night's game and CB Terrell Thomas (knee) didn't practice Thursday.
C David Baas (neck), CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring), RB Brandon Jacobs (hamstring), TE Adrien Robinson (foot), S Cooper Taylor (shoulder) and CB Corey Webster (groin) were all limited for the Giants.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of 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.