The pressure is on as the Vikings have to cut the roster down to 75 players by Aug. 30 and 53 players by Sept. 3. That means the next three preseason games are critical for guys trying to keep a job, but even more important for the Vikings to get the starting units settled.
Thursday night’s preseason game in Seattle could be telling for a number of positions, specifically strong safety and right tackle. Here’s everything you should be watching for tonight.
Patterson was banged up with a left shoulder injury during most of the Vikings’ time in Mankato, and he didn’t play against the Bengals. Is he on the trade block? Is he still hurt? Is he really tied with Adam Thielen as a top four receiver? There are a million questions about Patterson and we might get some answers tonight when he’s expected to play.
Sendejo vs. Griffin vs. Exum
Andrew Sendejo is on top of the depth chart, with Michael Griffin, Antone Exum and Anthony Harris right behind him at strong safety. Griffin has the veteran pedigree and ability to start, but he was slowed against Cincinnati while playing with TWO dislocated fingers, according to the Pioneer Press.
Trae Waynes vs. Terence Newman
It’s the old man Newman against the 2015 first-round pick Waynes in a fight to be one of two starting cornerbacks. Newman was injured and didn’t play against the Bengals. Waynes started and he wasn’t terrible, so keep a close eye on this position battle tonight.
Emmanuel Lamur vs. Chad Greenway
We know Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks will start, but is it possible we could see Chad Greenway lose his starting job to Emmanuel Lamur? USA Today says it’s one possibility that deserves watchful eyes. We’ll believe it when we see it.
Andre Smith vs. T.J. Clemmings
The Vikings signed Andre Smith in what looked like a move to solidify right tackle, but second-year player T.J. Clemmings is giving Smith all he can handle. Who starts against Seattle could be very telling. Smith started against Cincinnati and didn’t look good.
John Sullivan vs. Joe Berger
John Sullivan and Joe Berger are the candidates to start at center. They’ve been back and forth with the first team all of training camp, and Sullivan got the start last week against the Bengals. But that might only be because Berger had to move over to right guard because Brandon Fusco was hurt.
Kickoff in Seattle is set for 9 p.m.