Mike Zimmer shows optimisim about offensive line health

The Minnesota Vikings had their lengthiest injury report of the season on the first day of practice ahead of Week 15.

Fourteen players were listed on the report, six non-participants and eight who practiced in limited capacity.

Left tackle Riley Reiff, who went down with an ankle injury against the Panthers, was held out of Wednesday’s practice. After Reiff left the game in the third quarter, the Vikings shifted reserve tackle Rashod Hill, who started the game in place of Mike Remmers at right tackle, over to left tackle. Jeremiah Sirles, who filled in at left guard when Nick Easton shifted over to center in place of injured rookie Pat Elflein, then went to right tackle. Rookie Danny Isidora came off the bench to play left guard.

In total, Minnesota's offensive line finished the game with four of five players (minus Joe Berger) playing out of position.

Remmers has missed the past five games with a combination of concussion and lower-back issues. Elflein was a late scratch last week with a shoulder injury. Both practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday.

Despite the lengthy list of injuries, especially those on the offensive line, coach Mike Zimmer expressed confidence about several players being able to return against Cincinnati.

"I feel pretty good," Zimmer said. "I think we'll get a lot of them back. I think we should get Elflein back this week. I think we should get Remmers back. There's a good chance, possibility of getting Reiff back."

Minnesota allowed a season-high six sacks against the Panthers after quarterback Case Keenum hadn't been sacked more than twice in a game in Weeks 2-13. The offensive line hasn't had the string of injuries it did last season but has been forced to shift personnel at several points this season. Sirles filled in for Easton at left guard for several weeks when a calf injury made him sit out a number of games before the bye week. Hill has been Remmers' replacement at right tackle since Remmers suffered a concussion in Week 8.

"Depth is extremely important," Zimmer said. "Quality depth. This time of year you end up getting a lot of injuries. Knock on wood, we've been fairly healthy and hopefully we continue to stay that way."

In addition to Reiff, Xavier Rhodes (hip), Kyle Rudolph (ankle), Emmanuel Lamur (foot), Mackensie Alexander (ribs) and Blake Bell (shoulder) did not practice on Wednesday. Zimmer said he did not know about Rudolph's status when asked, but anticipates several other players returning this Sunday.

"We'll see later on in the week," he said. "We're going to get a lot of guys back, I think."