Minnesota Vikings tight end John Carlson is unlikely to play on Thursday night due to a concussion sustained in the Vikings' win over the Cardinals on Sunday, according to Ben Goessling of the Pioneer Press. The Vikings will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night in Tampa, and Carlson has yet to be cleared to return to practice.
The NFL's new concussion policy requires that a player with a concussion be cleared by doctors before he can return to practice. If that player hasn't been cleared to practice, they cannot participate in a game. The timing of the Vikings schedule is working against Carlson, as he only has half a week to recuperate instead of a full week.
Carlson has three catches for eight yards on the season, but is the team's second tight end behind Kyle Rudolph and is incorporated more heavily in the team's run and pass blocking schemes.