The five-week preseason is finally over for the Vikings after Thursday's 24-17 loss to the Titans in Tennessee. All of the team's attention will now switch to cutting the roster from 75 to 53 players, and then it's on to the regular season.
Hodges confident he'll start
Gerald Hodges started the final two preseason games at middle linebacker and he sounds like he knows he's won the job over rookie Eric Kendricks and third-year backer Audie Cole.
“I’m pretty confident at this point,” Hodges said, via the Star Tribune. “It just depends where.”
The "where" part of the deal should be simple because Chad Greenway and Anthony Barr are expected to start at the outside linebacker positions, thus leaving Hodges in the middle.
According to the Pioneer Press, Cole doesn't appear to be in the mix to start.
Heinicke the third QB?
Taylor Heinicke is hoping to make the team as the third-string quarterback behind Teddy Bridgewater and Shaun Hill. The Pioneer Press says Heinicke's fate is simple: he'll either be cut or the Vikings will decide to keep three quarterbacks.
ESPN notes that head coach Mike Zimmer and offensive coordinator Norv Turner have hinted that they prefer to have three quarterbacks on the team. The tricky part is that they'll risk losing him if they try to pass him through waivers and sign him to the practice squad, so the safe bet would be adding him directly to the 53-man roster.
"There was a lot of things that happened throughout the course of the game where he showed that he’s got something to him," Zimmer said after the game.
Walsh wraps up rough preseason
After missing a 48-yard field goal attempt and connecting on a 33-yard try against the Titans, kicker Blair Walsh finished the preseason 5-of-11 on field goals.
Despite his poor conversion rate, Zimmer made it clear after the game that "Blair is our kicker."
Walsh signed a four-year, $13 million extension with the Vikings prior to the start of training camp.