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While Christian Darrisaw recovers, Rashod Hill will be tested

Darrisaw has an unknown timetable after groin surgery, making Hill the Vikings' Week 1 starter at left tackle.
Rashod Hill

Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw will participate in individual drills on Wednesday as he continues his recovery from offseason groin surgery.

Head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters on Monday that Darrisaw would take the next step in his rehab but didn't give a timetable for his return to the field.

"I think the biggest thing is watching him practice, see him develop and not making mistakes," Zimmer said. "Some of those things are going to show up early especially when you haven't practiced in a while ... It's just going to be an evaluation each week and when we decide to put him in there, then we do."

While Darrisaw works his way back, the Vikings will rely on Rashod Hill at left tackle. Hill started the first eight games of the 2018 season at right tackle but has been in a reserve role the past two years.

Although he allowed four pressures in his Week 17 start against the Detroit Lions last season, Zimmer was positive about his pass blocking and improvement in the running game.

It will be Hill's pass blocking that will be tested against the Cincinnati Bengals, after their offseason acquisition of Trey Hendrickson.

Hendrickson was a free-agent target for the Vikings last season after collecting 14.5 sacks with the New Orleans Saints. He also ranked third among qualifying edge defenders with a 9.2 pass rusher productivity rating according to Pro Football Focus.

With similar matchups coming against Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt in Week 2, Hill's performance could determine whether the Vikings get off to a fast start in 2021. But it didn't dampen Zimmer's outlook on the offensive line.

"I don't necessarily think it's a work in progress," Zimmer said. "I think there's some unknowns there...but I don't think it's a major concern."

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