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Harrison Smith sits out practice; Teddy Bridgewater expected to start for Panthers

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Minnesota Vikings’ Harrison Smith (22) makes a catch before an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Veteran safety Harrison Smith did not practice for the Vikings on Wednesday because of a neck injury. Minnesota will play host to Carolina on Sunday. Smith has not missed a game because of injury in the past four seasons. He sat out the Vikings’ regular-season finale in 2019 because the team already had locked into a playoff spot.

Right guard Ezra Cleveland (ankle), who did not play in last Sunday’s loss to Dallas, and defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo (shoulder/concussion) also did not practice. Tight end Irv Smith (groin/back) was limited in practice. Smith returned Sunday against Dallas after missing the Vikings’ win over Chicago the previous Monday.

Guard Dru Samia was activated from the COVID-19 reserve list but did not practice.

Former Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was limited in practice for Carolina because of a knee injury. Bridgewater did not play for the Panthers in last Sunday’s win over Detroit but is expected to be able to go Sunday. Running back Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) also was limited, but Carolina coach Matt Rhule told reporters that he does not expect McCaffrey to play against the Vikings.