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Vikings will be without top cornerback for at least the first three games after bye week

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Arizona Cardinals
Sep 19, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) motions in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings will have the week off to enjoy their bye after winning back-to-back games, but when they return it will be without veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson. At least for three games.

Peterson was placed on injured reserve Monday because of a right hamstring injury suffered late in the fourth quarter of the Vikings’ overtime win on Sunday in Carolina. The victory gave the Vikings a 3-3 record headed into their off week. Peterson was injured as he was in a full sprint covering Carolina wide receiver D.J. Moore down the sideline. He was helped off the field and did not return.

Peterson, 31, was replaced by second-year corner Cameron Dantzler, who had rotated with right corner Bashaud Breeland earlier in the game. Dantzler likely will take over for Peterson while he’s out.

Coach Mike Zimmer said he did not think the injury will be season-ending but Peterson will be sidelined for games against Dallas (5-1), Baltimore (5-1) and the Chargers (4-2). If Peterson’s absence extends beyond those three games, he also will miss a key NFC North game against the Packers (5-1). Three of those teams lead their division and the Chargers are tied with Las Vegas for first place in the AFC West.

This also means the Vikings will be without their top corner against Dak Prescott, Lamar Jackson and Justin Herbert and possibly Aaron Rodgers.

Peterson, who signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Vikings in free agency after playing his first 10 seasons in Arizona, has been a steady presence in the defensive backfield for Minnesota.

The eight-time Pro Bowl selection has never missed a game in his career because of injury. Peterson has 13 tackles, one tackle for a loss and two passes defensed in six games this season. His 28 career interceptions are tied with teammate Harrison Smith for eighth among active NFL players.

The Vikings signed offensive tackle Blake Brandel to their active roster to take Peterson’s place.