2 Vikings Rookies Dazzle in Loss to Raiders
The Minnesota Vikings fell to Las Vegas Raiders 26-20 on Sunday, losing the first of three 2022 preseason games.
For context, the Vikings rested these players:
- Dalvin Cook
- Kirk Cousins
- Thomas Hennigan
- Danielle Hunter
- Justin Jefferson
- Eric Kendricks
- Patrick Peterson
- Chris Reed
- Harrison Smith
- Irv Smith
- Za’Darius Smith
- Jullian Taylor
- Adam Thielen
Therefore, the matchup was a true exhibition bout without the teams’ top personnel.
Ed Ingram, a rookie offensive lineman from LSU, impressed at right guard.
Two other rookies performed exceptionally well, too.
Statistics won’t do Asamoah justice — he logged one tackle, and that’s about it — but his afternoon was terrific. The tackle he did register was broadcast to high heavens on Twitter by eager Vikings enthusiasts.
When he was on the field in the first half, Asamoah was all over the place, affecting Raiders plays and showcasing his notable speed. While Asamoah won’t start in September unless something happens to Eric Kendricks or Jordan Hicks in the next four weeks, he showed his rookie-season capability in the first preseason game.
Drafted in the 3rd Round back in April, Asamoah could’ve taken the “Chazz Surratt path,” buried on the depth chart as a rookie. But nope. Asamoah, if only for a game, looks poised to make an impact when Ed Donatell inevitably calls his number.
Even if Asamoah plays horrifically against the San Francisco 49ers or Denver Broncos, he showed up in his first-ever “real” football game — a good omen for years to come.
Ty Chandler looked like the best football player in Las Vegas from either team. Period.
He was handed the pigskin five times and promptly broke off ten yards per carry. Then, he fielded a kick, bounced off a Raider like a fullback, and turned on WR speed. The return caught the attention of NFL.com:
Minnesota may be forced to keep five RBs and FBs, a large total by modern NFL standards. Otherwise, Kevin O’Connell and friends could be tasked with the uncomfortable option of cutting Alexander Mattison, whose been utilized by the team as RB2 for three years.
Chandler made himself cut-proof on Sunday, providing instant and explosive offense — and special teams — every time he touched the ball.
What a debut.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).