The Carolina Panthers and the Minnesota Vikings started the season in completely different manners, but depending on who wins Sunday's game between those two teams, they may both sit at .500 after Week 6.
The Panthers opened the season with three straight wins and the expectation of having finally settled for a franchise quarterback spot with Sam Darnold. From there, Carolina looks like a completely different team, with an offense that committed lots of turnovers in Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles and blew a game that a team who dreams of a playoff berth can never lose.
The Vikings have a 2-3 record, but it's tough to say if they aren't good enough for a playoff spot or if they are just unlucky. Minnesota lost two games because of missing game-winning field goals, and it's not easy to grasp an opinion about where the Vikings can go this year.
Check out the starting lineup and the injury report for both these teams ahead of their Week 6 game.
Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings injury report
The Panthers are projected to have three starters missing Sunday's game against the Vikings.
Linebacker Shaq Thompson, who's been an important piece of Carolina's defense in 2021, is dealing with a foot injury and did not practice all week. Starting left tackle Cameron Erving also remains out after already missing the game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5.
The most important absence is running back Christian McCaffrey, who hurt his hamstring in Week 3. He had limited practice during the week, but coach Matt Rhule said during Friday's press conference that McCaffrey will be out.
The most important news coming from the Vikings' camp about injuries is a positive one: On Thursday, Dalvin Cook had full practice for the first time since his injury in Week 2 and is set to return to the starting lineup.
Apart from Cook news, there's not much to report from Minnesota about injuries. The lone starter to miss the game will be nose tackle Michael Pierce as he deals with an elbow injury. Third-string tight end Ben Ellefson is out with a knee injury.
Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings starting lineup
QB - Sam Darnold | RB - Chuba Hubbard | WR - DJ Moore, Robby Anderson | TE - Tommy Tremble, Ian Thomas | OL - Brady Christensen, Dennis Daley, Matt Paradis, John Miller, Taylor Moton
DL - Brian Burns, DaQuan Jones, Derrick Brown, Morgan Fox | LB - Julian Stanford, Jermaine Carter, Haason Reddick | CB - Donte Jackson, A.J. Bouye | S - Jeremy Chinn, Sean Chandler | K - Zane Gonzalez | P - Ryan Winslow
QB - Kirk Cousins | RB - Dalvin Cook, C.J. Ham | WR - Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen | TE - Irv Smith Jr. | OL - Rashod Hill, Ezra Cleveland, Garrett Bradbury, Oli Udoh, Brian O'Neill
DL - Danielle Hunter, Dalvin Tomlinson, Sheldon Richardson, Everson Griffen | LB - Nick Vigil, Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr | CB - Patrick Peterson, Bashaud Breeland | S - Harrison Smith, Xavier Woods | K - Greg Joseph | P - Jordan Berry