The inevitable cuts are looming, and after tonight game, we’ll see the Minnesota Vikings’ active roster go from 89 players to 75 by September 1st. Through three weeks of preseason football, not much has changed — Teddy Bridgewater is still the man, Charles Johnson is the Vikings’ best receiver, and the defensive line is loaded with talent. There’s plenty to be excited about, but plenty left to prove for a handful of players, whether they’re clinging for life on the roster bubble or trying to find their groove with a new team.
As head coach Mike Zimmer noted earlier this week, the Vikings don’t view tonight’s matchup with the Cowboys as a “dress rehearsal.” Rather, it’s a test for his young team against a 2014 playoff contender and this year’s NFC East favorite, per 1500 ESPN’s Derek Wetmore:
“We really don’t gameplan for it. Our guys have been through all that for 16 weeks now anyway. It’s still about us and doing what we do and seeing if we can do it good against a team that we really haven’t studied much.”
“It’ll be a good test. They’re a very good offensive team, they’ve improved a lot defensively, they’ve always done a good job on special teams,” Zimmer said.
With that said, here are a few Vikings I’ll be watching closely tonight. If not a tune-up for the regular season, this evening’s game will provide the starters extended playing time and the reserves a chance to prove they belong on the roster: