Friday, December 9, 2016

andre smith

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Vikings to Work Out OL Jake Long
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

At some point, the injuries have to take their toll. The Minnesota Vikings continue to lose key starters, and yet, continue to win games. Mike Zimmer’s team is 5-0 and heads into the bye week as the NFL’s last remaining undefeated team.

They’ll have an extra week to get healthy, but that won’t stop the Vikings from preparing for the worst. As first reported by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Minnesota will host veteran tackle Jake Long for a workout in the coming days. Long last played for the Atlanta Falcons in 2015, appearing in just 11 snaps for the team.

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Stefon Diggs Out as Vikings Host Texans
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Stefon Diggs “has a groin,” and that groin finally held him out of a game. Earlier this morning, the Minnesota Vikings announced that Diggs, who’s missed practice all week, will be inactive against the Houston Texans.

It’s the first game Diggs has missed since sitting the first three games of his career in 2015. In his place, Adam Thielen will start in two-receiver sets, and Jarius Wright will likely see more field today than he’s seen all season.

The rest of the the team’s inactives include:

  • WR Stefon Diggs
  • RB Ronnie Hillman
  • LB Kentrell Brothers
  • T Andre Smith
  • DT Sharrif Floyd
  • TE Rhett Ellison
  • TE David Morgan

Notable is the loss of Rhett Ellison, a key factor in Minnesota’s two and three-tight end sets. With Ellison sidelined, Sam Bradford and the Vikings offense could look to more 11/21-personnel sets out of the shotgun. It’s a look the team showed heavily in Week 4, when Jerick McKinnon rushed for nearly 100 yards.

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Is there one?

A Prescription for the Vikings Offensive Line
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The luster of an undefeated record masks the blemishes below the surface. For the Minnesota Vikings, that blemish is the offensive line. Through two games this season, the unit is Pro Football Focus’s 31st-ranked group and has struggled in every facet of play.

With Matt Kalil likely out for the season and T.J. Clemmings moving to left tackle, the prospects aren’t any better. Such overturn — and a sudden lack of depth — means offensive coordinator Norv Turner will have to adjust Minnesota’s scheme to compensate.

Shorter drops, shotgun looks, and a quick-hitting passing game could become the norm for the Vikings, who relied so heavily on a ground-and-pound attack in 2015. Even with those changes, there’s no guarantee the line improves. Right now, there’s no knowing how they can improve.

It’s the worry of every fan, and it’s the focus of this week’s Vikings Territory “Question of the Week:”

“What do you think is wrong with the OL, and how can it be fixed?”

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Vikings-Seahawks Recap - So How'd Teddy Look?

Teddy Bridgewater didn’t play in a game that doesn’t matter, but Vikings fans still freaked out. The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings mercifully ended their late night fiasco in Seattle without overtime, despite Pete Carroll’s best efforts. Here are a few half-awake thoughts.

Tonight/This Morning’s Talking Points Include:
• Why Didn’t Teddy Play?
• Shaun Hill Looked Good Enough
• WTF, Joel Stave
• Well Hello Cordarrelle Patterson
• Adam Thielen is WR3. Period.
• Lack of Running Game This Preseason is Worrisome
• Kyle Rudolph Is Alive
• CJ Ham is RB4
• Vikings Defense Played Well, BUT….
• Everson Wants 20 Sacks and Might Get It
• Danielle Hunter is a Man
• We’re In Good Hands with Our Backup Defensive Tackles
• LOL Antone Exum
• Michael Griffin Time with the ones with Harrison
• Terence Newman is no longer a starting caliber CB. Major regression from 2015.
• Secondary Cannot Catch
• Marcus Sherels Saved Us From Preseason Overtime
• Blair Walsh finally kicked a 27-yard FG
• Jeff Locke was Horrible

All that and other “Shaun Hill is Trade Bait” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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