The 2015 NFL season ended more than three months ago, yet it seems like it has been forever since an football game has been played. With the league’s release of the official dates and times for the 2016 NFL preseason today, a bit of excitement was felt by those who have clamoring for any sort of televised professional football that is not played in Canada or in an arena.
For the Minnesota Vikings, the actual opponents for which they will be facing in the upcoming preseason has been known for some time. Now, the Vikings and every other team in the league knows the exact times in which those games will be kicking off.
Preseason Week 1: at Cincinnati Bengals
Friday, August 13th
Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer will be heading back to Cincinnati for the first time since leaving the Bengals as their defensive coordinator and joining the Vikings in 2014. Given the strong relationship between Zimmer and Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis, the two teams have been rumored to possibly have a few joint practices in the days leading up to their game.
Preseason Week 2: at Seattle Seahawks
Thursday, August 18th
Minnesota will get an early look at the team that knocked them out of the 2015 playoffs. Although this game means absolutely nothing, this could be a matchup of two teams that could see each other again in 2016 playoffs.
Preseason Week 3: San Diego Chargers
Sunday, August 28th
Two years in the making, the Vikings get their very first opportunity to play a game in their brand new, state of the art, indoor stadium. There could even be a possibility that this game at US Bank Stadium could be Minnesota’s very first preseason sellout given the amount of interest that the building has drawn within the team’s fanbase.
Preseason Week 4: Los Angeles Rams
Thursday, September 1st
The last time these two teams met, Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was knocked out of the game with a concussion and afterwards Zimmer did not hold back his feelings about the dirty hit. Since it is the preseason, the postgame handshake between Zimmer and Los Angeles head coach Jeff Fisher should be little more friendly than it was last season.