The Minnesota Vikings will finally play football in their new palace on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. It may still be the preseason, but with the regular season opening in two weeks, rosters are beginning to take shape.
Here are three things to watch when the Vikings take the field against the San Diego Chargers.
How much will Teddy Bridgewater play?
Last week, fans and reporters were scrambling for answers when Teddy Bridgewater didn’t play at all against the Seattle Seahawks.
It was a decision made by Mike Zimmer and he didn’t divulge too much on the topic other than stating that it was, “my decision” and that he would have played him if it were a regular season game.
According to Ben Goessling, Bridgewater was dealing with shoulder soreness.
Following the game with Seattle, Bridgewater started throwing at practice. Zimmer told reporters this week he expects Bridgewater to play on Sunday.
But how much he plays will be interesting especially because Joel Stave, Shaun Hill and even newly signed Brad Sorensen could all see action.
Trae Waynes wants to impress
Starting cornerback Xaiver Rhodes was injured against Seattle and has not practiced since, which means second-year corner Trae Waynes should start again.
Waynes has had a solid training camp and is looking to be more involved with the team’s defense this year. The 2015 first-round pick by the Vikings mostly saw time on special teams last year; playing very well in that role.
If Rhodes’ injury sidelines him by the time regular season begins, Waynes could find himself starting not just in the preseason, but in the regular season too.
Which offensive line will show up?
Minnesota signed Alex Boone and Andre Smith in the off season to beef up the offensive line after Bridgewater spent most of the 2015 season running for his life.
The unit struggled in Minnesota’s first preseason game but played much better in their game against Seattle. But starting left tackle Matt Kalil was injured in practice last Sunday and T.J. Clemmings has filled in for him.
Clemmings was competing with Andre Smith at right tackle throughout training camp and this preseason, but Smith ended up starting the last two games at that position.
Also John Sullivan and Joe Berger are still splitting time at center. Sullivan sat out all of last season with a back injury and Joe Berger had to fill in and turned out to be one of the best centers in the NFL last year.
Kickoff between the Vikings and Chargers is at 12 p.m. and the game will be televised on Fox.