The season-ending injury to left tackle Jake Long has forced the Vikings to shuffle the offensive line for the umpteenth time this season. Here's the projected starting line.
- Left tackle: T.J. Clemmings
- Left guard: Alex Boone
- Center: Joe Berger
- Right guard: Brandon Fusco
- Right tackle: Jeremiah Sirles
Overall, Minnesota's offensive line has been a disaster. Pro Football Focus ranked it second worst in the NFL and the guy that Pro Football Focus has graded out as one of the worst tackles in the last decade – Clemmings – is now in charge of protecting quarterback Sam Bradford's blindside.
According to a report from the Pioneer Press, Boone on Thursday didn't completely nix his chances of playing left tackle, but Clemmings told the newspaper that he believes he will be the starter.
"It's one of those things where we can't make excuses," Boone said this week, according to ESPN. "We can't sit there and say, 'Well, this guy's new to me, this guy's new to me, I don't know how he's going to play.' That just doesn't jibe in this league anymore. It's going to be on us as an offensive line to pick things up quick this week."
Regardless of what happens, Minnesota will have to break some long odds to make the playoffs if they continuing running the ball the way they have. ESPN Stats and Information says only two teams – the Patriots in 1986 and 1994 – have made the playoffs while averaging fewer than three yards per rush. The Vikings are currently last in the league averaging 2.67 yards per carry – the lowest total in 60 years.