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Vikings activate Blake Brandel from injured reserve

Mike Florio and Peter King detail why Kirk Cousins and the Vikings have a "mandate" to win at home in the playoffs against the Giants despite the fact that New York is gaining traction to pull the upset.

The Vikings activated offensive tackle Blake Brandel from injured reserve, the team announced Saturday.

Brandel returned to practice this week.

He injured an MCL in a Dec. 11 game against the Lions and missed the final four games of the season.

Brandel started at left tackle when Christian Darrisaw missed time earlier this season with a concussion. The Vikings now are without right tackle Brian O’Neill after he tore his Achilles. Oli Udoh took his place, but Brandel now also is an option.

Starting center Garrett Bradbury is returning this week after working his way back from a lower back injury. He has not played since Dec. 4.

That allowed the Vikings to waive center Greg Mancz.

Mancz played 23 offensive snaps in Week 3, his only offensive action this season, and his only other playing time in 2022 came on seven special teams snaps last week.