ProFootballDoc: Injury Insights for PIT vs MIN Thursday Night Football

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Pittsburgh comes off a big win over division rival Baltimore while Minnesota lost to previously winless Detroit. This Thursday’s matchup is close in overall health, but there are SIC score and Field View advantages.

SIC Score is our proprietary numerical injury grading system that incorporates the health of every NFL team and individual players to give sports bettors, DFS players and fantasy owners an edge each week during the season. While it purposely doesn’t take into account coaching, schemes or matchups, SIC Scores give an accurate assessment of team/player overall health heading into a game.


The overall team/offense/defense SIC scores for both squads are quite even, but there are still potential advantages.

The Vikings will miss Adam Thielen to a high ankle sprain as we indicated in game on Sunday. Dalvin Cook is listed as questionable, but we continue to believe Alexander Mattison gets the workload even on the off chance that Cook is active (which we doubt). The big story here is defensively, Minnesota is on the rise. They get back three of there top defenders: Eric Kendrick (biceps), Anthony Barr (knee) and Patrick Peterson (COVID), who all missed last week. Based on this delta improvement, it seems the Vikings are the right side.

The Steelers defensively are likely to be down to their No. 3 nose tackle, will continue to miss Stephon Tuitt, and are likely without No. 1 CB Joe Haden. Offensively, the injuries are most impactful. At right guard, they may be down to a fourth stringer. They will also continue to miss JuJu Smith-Schuster and Eric Ebron.

For FanDuel prop plays, the reinvigorated Vikings defense with the returning players might lead to consideration of Steelers unders. With Thielen out, that means more targets for Justin Jefferson or K.J. Osborn.

All the same ProFootballDoc injury info is now at the Sports Injury Central site as we grow to cover basketball and baseball. Check it out.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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