Answers to 5 big questions before Vikings vs. 49ers

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

The first official Minnesota Vikings Sunday of the regular season is here and there are still plenty of questions we won't have the answers to until they're in action against the visiting San Francisco 49ers. 

Here's a list of vitals that we'll be looking for once the game kicks off, although some of these we think we already have the answers to. 

1. Who starts on the offensive line?

From left to right, this is what the Vikings are likely going with: Riley Reiff, Tom Compton, Brett Jones, Mike Remmers, Rashod Hill. 

Again, this unit has to answer more questions than any other on the team, especially Jones, who is starting in place of Pat Elflein and has been with the team for just a couple of weeks. 

Meanwhile, Hill's leash could be short considering rookie second-round pick Brian O'Neill pushed him for the starting job all preseason. 

2. What is Xavier Rhodes' injury designation?

Rhodes, although he was a full participant during Friday's practice, was listed as questionable with a hamstring injury on Friday's injury report, but he will be a full go against the 49ers. 

Cornerback Mackenzie Alexander is out with an injury, paving the way for rookie first-round pick Mike Hughes to start as the nickel corner. 

3. How many carries will Dalvin Cook get?

We wrote about this in more detail on Friday, but even Cook said he's not sure how many carries offensive coordinator John DeFilippo will give him. Remember, Cook took just two carries during the preseason and hasn't played in the regular season since tearing his ACL last Oct. 1 against the Lions. 

That said, DeFilippo is now on record saying Cook won't have any restrictions, although they will be keeping a close eye on him. 

Latavius Murray should also see plenty of action while fellow backs Mike Boone and Roc Thomas are inactive. 

4. How will George Iloka be used on defense?

Since signing with the Vikings in August he's been used as both a safety and a hybrid linebacker. He's a veteran tackling machine with the ability to make big plays, and he should be mixed in and out of the lineup throughout the game. 

5. Will Kirk Cousins look to throw to Laquon Treadwell?

Treadwell's strong training camp and preseason has led to the Vikings using Adam Thielen more in the slot, with Treadwell and Diggs on the outside in three wide receiver sets. 

There's a ton of hope in Vikings nation for Treadwell to finally live up to the hype that comes with being a first-round draft pick. His chance to do so starts against the 'Niners.

You can find all of our Minnesota Vikings content during the 2018 season in our Flipboard magazine, which you can read and follow below. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.


When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.


Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.


Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Duluth and Case Recreation Center

St. Paul to open two extra temporary shelters for homeless people

Mayor Melvin Carter announced the new shelters will be opened in the event of excess demand.

vote, election

Minnesota once again had the highest election turnout in the country

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a record percentage of voters also sent in absentee ballots.


Justin Jefferson

5 questions for the Vikings vs. the Cowboys

The Vikings will look to continue their playoff push on Sunday.

Justin Jefferson

5 questions for the Vikings vs. the Packers

Can the Vikings pull off an upset in Green Bay?

Dalvin Cook

5 questions for the Vikings vs. the Lions

Injuries will play a key role in an NFC North battle.

5 things that stood out in Vikings' win over 49ers

Minnesota opened the season with a win over the 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Vikings will face Lions without Diggs, 3 other starters

Xavier Rhodes and Dalvin Cook return from injuries.

Bye week gave key Vikes players a chance to get healthy

Dalvin Cook and Stefon Diggs will be ready to go in Chicago.

Xavier Rhodes questionable for season opener against 49ers

The star cornerback was a full participant, however, in Friday's practice.

Stefon Diggs

Purple and gold mush: 49ers end Vikings' season

With 91 yards of offense, the Vikings went into the offseason with a whimper.