The Minnesota Vikings rebuilt secondary will get tested early and often during the regular season.
The Vikings open the season on the road at St. Louis on Sept. 7th, but immediately after the opener the schedule shows a very difficult stretch against some of the league's best quarterbacks,
The list reads like a who's who of today's great NFL quarterbacks.
- Week 2 vs. New England – Tom Brady
- Week 3 at New Orleans – Drew Brees
- Week 4 vs. Atlanta – Matt Ryan
- Week 5 at Green Bay – Aaron Rodgers
- Week 6 vs. Detroit – Matthew Stafford
"That stretch is a tough stretch," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told reporters Wednesday. "It is what it is. They aren't going to cancel the game; neither am I."
The Vikings had one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL last season – they finished 31st against the pass and allowed an average of 287.2 yards per game.
Cleveland's Brian Hoyer threw for 321 yards and Cincinnati's Andy Dalton threw for 363 yards and four touchdowns against Minnesota.
But Zimmer is attempting to address the secondary weaknesses. The Vikings signed cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (right) and safety Kurt Coleman as free agents. They also drafted safety Antone Exum and cornerback Jabari Price.
Additionally, the Vikings added veteran NFL safety Chris Crocker after training camp started. The 12-year veteran has been with Zimmer for the last six seasons in Cincinnati.
The Pioneer Press notes that injuries have hampered the group so far. Munnerlyn, fellow cornerback Josh Robinson and safeties Andrew Sendejo, Mistral Raymond, Jamarca Sanford and Robert Blanton have all missed time during training camp with injuries.
Zimmer expects to have the majority of the group back for Saturday night's preseason game against Arizona, but he insists he's not worried about the stretch early in the season.
"We are going to go out there and challenge the receivers, and hopefully we are going to play very, very good," Zimmer said. "My expectation level is always really high."