Skip to main content

5 players to watch closely during Vikings-Seahawks Friday night

Could rookie Brian O'Neill win the starting job at right tackle?

The all-important third preseason game takes place Friday night as the Vikings play the Seahawks at U.S. Bank Stadium, and this is the game that often provides a good sampling of what the lineup will look like when the regular season begins. 

Teams have until 3 p.m. on Sep. 1 to finalize the 53-man roster, so a bad game Friday night won't necessarily kill a fringe player's chances to make the team because they can still prove their worth in next Thursday's (Aug. 30) preseason final against the Titans. 

Key players we'll watch closely Friday night.

George Iloka: The former Bengals starting safety signed with the Vikings earlier this week and claims to know about 80 percent of the defense having played under Mike Zimmer earlier in his career. With Andrew Sendejo the assumed starting safety next to Harrison Smith, it'll be interesting to see the variety of ways the Vikings use Iloka. That is, if Iloka winds up playing. We'll wait and see. 

Laquon Treadwell: Expect the former first-round pick to get a ton of playing time. He's had an impressive training camp but has just three catches for 11 yards in two preseason games. Granted, he's only been targeted three times, so maybe this is the game he becomes more involved as the third wide receiver. 

Dalvin Cook: The running back has yet to step on the field this preseason and there's no official word from the Vikings that he'll play against Seattle, but NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that Cook will get some game action. It would be his first action in a game since tearing his ACL last October against the Lions, and it would be the first time seeing quarterback Kirk Cousins with the best running back on the team behind him. 

Follow Bring Me The Sports on Facebook.

Rashod Hill vs. Brian O'Neill: This might be the game that decides who the starting right tackle will be. Hill, the veteran, versus O'Neill, the second round draft pick from Pittsburgh. Hill has been plagued by an illness and a rolled ankle this preseason, and it's opened the door for first-team reps for O'Neill, and by all accounts he's put himself in the discussion to win the starting job. 

Mike Remmers: It's expected that Remmers will make his preseason debut after missing the first two games because of an ankle injury. Remmers is the projected starter at right guard, but his history of starting at right tackle coupled with Minnesota's possible issues with Hill and O'Neill, in addition to the rise of second-year lineman Aviante Collins, gives the Vikings some options. 

Assuming starting center Pat Elflein will be ready for the regular season opener against the 49ers, the Vikings still have a ton of moving parts and options on the offensive line. Here's some of the starting possibilities we think exist. 

O-line 1:

  • LT: Riley Reiff
  • LG: Tom Compton
  • C: Pat Elflein
  • RG: Mike Remmers
  • RT: Rashod Hill or Brian O'Neill

O-line 2: 

  • LT: Riley Reiff
  • LG: Tom Compton
  • C: Pat Elflein
  • RG: Aviante Collins
  • RT: Mike Remmers

O-line 3: 

  • LT: Riley Reiff
  • LG: Aviante Collins
  • C: Pat Elflein
  • RG: Mike Remmers
  • RT: Rashod Hill or Brian O'Neill

The line combinations the Vikings use in the first half Friday night could be a really good indicator to what we'll see during the regular season. 

Oh, and for good measure, we're quite excited to see the third running back battle between Mike Boone and Roc Thomas. Both have had great camps and preseason games, and it's a battle that'll likely go down to the wire next week. 

Next Up

Semi into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

Semi drives into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

The force from the semi was so strong that the foundation of the house was moved.


18-year-old from Zumbrota dies in Goodhue County crash

The crash happened in rural Goodhue County around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

thomas beach, bde maka ska - lake calhoun

3 Minneapolis beaches closed due to E. coli contamination

No illnesses have been reported, according to the MPRB.


'Hockeyland' documentary debuting in Minnesota movie theaters

The documentary has received great reviews at numerous film festivals.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Former Minnesota Olympic runner accused of driving drunk in Eden Prairie crash

Police said the man's blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.


Man, 79, killed in ATV rollover near Faribault

The man was declared dead at the scene.

minneapolis police

Woman fighting for her life after shooting in Minneapolis

The woman was shot only about a half-hour after a 14-year-old suffered critical injuries in an apparent accidental discharge.

prior lake high school

Two students face discipline over racist messages at Prior Lake High School

Families and students were largely uncooperative with the investigation.

Sharon and Herb Vasser

Cause of Hopkins house explosion that killed couple revealed

Sharon and Herb Vassar were killed in the explosion. Herb built the home back in 1962.

Arrows on target

Charges: Minnesota camp counselor fired arrows at kids, injuring boy

An 8-year-old boy was shot in the arm with an arrow.

North Shore Mayor Chris Swanson.

Two Harbors votes overwhelmingly to recall Mayor Chris Swanson

The mayor had been scrutinized for several things leading up to the vote Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 8.43.50 AM

Suspected gunman at large after homicide near Albert Lea

The 32-year-old suspect was last seen in a 2004 white Ford F-150 with Minnesota license number EUZ-057.


Kirk Cousins

Vikings lose wild game to Seahawks; Dalvin Cook injured

Cook appeared to injure his shoulder in the third quarter.

CJ Ham

Vikings-Seahawks: 5 things you can count on happening

Can the Vikings finally beat Russell Wilson?

Dalvin Cook

Vikings: Dalvin Cook is OUT of Seahawks game

The star running back hasn't recovered from an ankle injury.

Answers to 5 big questions before Vikings vs. 49ers

Dalvin Cook? Starting o-line? George Iloka? Mike Hughes? Xavier Rhodes?

Vikings down 1 starter to injury, Seahawks without 3 key starters

Trae Waynes will not play Monday night in Seattle.

Offensive tackle Brian O'Neill among 5 draft picks to sign with Vikes

O'Neill might be the starting right tackle to open the season.

Kirk Cousins

Wide Left: Vikings offensive preview – avoiding the bleep show

Blair Anderson has a theme (bleep show) in his latest Wide Left blog.