5 Vikings Should Get Extra Run at Bears

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The Vikings play a somewhat meaningless game in Week 18 in Chicago. There’s only one scenario in which the Vikings could gain anything in the standings, and that’s if the Cardinals can pull off a stunner in San Francisco and beat the 14-point favorites 49ers.

Minnesota is trying to get the bad taste of the game in Green Bay out of their mouths.

5 Vikings Should Get Extra Run at Bears

The Vikings will play their starters but will most likely limit the snaps of some of them, especially the veterans. Several Vikings should get some additional playing time in Week 18.

Brian Asamoah

5 Vikings Should Get
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The linebacker is shining with booming hits on special teams and is subbing in at linebacker now and then, mostly replacing Jordan Hicks. Asamoah brings elite speed and athleticism to the linebacker room, and the only knock on him is that he is late to some plays and misreads some situations, a normal thing for rookies.

In the last four weeks, the rookie was inserted more often into the lineup, and he played 86 snaps on defense in those four games. He recorded 14 tackles and forced a fumble which he recovered himself. In addition, Asamoah forced another fumble against the Colts, but the officials ruled the play dead.

Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks are veterans and don’t need the extra run to get ready for the playoff game, so Asamoah should play a big role on the Vikings’ defense in Chicago.

Jalen Nailor

Only 3 Vikings Played Well vs. GB
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The wideout made the best of his opportunity to play extended snaps against the Packers. He is mainly a special teams player but showed his explosiveness in the passing offense. The rookie was the one bright spot when the other players put up an enormous stinker in the NFC North battle.

He finished the game with 89 yards and a touchdown on three catches. The Vikings should give him snaps in the season finale to figure out if he could be of help in the postseason, especially because Nailor is the best deep threat on the roster and could be an X-factor for that reason.

Chris Reed and the OL

There Was an Outcome
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The first two candidates were for development reasons. This one is about chemistry. Chris Reed has to play at a new position, at center. Garrett Bradbury did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday, and a return soon seems unlikely.

Reed had all kinds of problems with the snap counts and should play the full game to get as many reps as possible. Chemistry is an important thing for the offensive line, and the new lineup of Darrisaw – Cleveland – Reed – Ingram – Udoh should play every snap to build some of that chemistry.

Ty Chandler

Vikings Activate Rookie
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With not much to play for, it’s time to put Dalvin Cook on ice. The running back missed at least two games with injuries every year of his NFL career. In 2022, that did not happen so far, but it’s essential to be cautious with Cook to have him healthy in the playoffs. Chandler is a sixth-round rookie and his performances in the postseason were outstanding.

He rushed for 113 yards despite just getting only 15 carries. Chandler missed the majority of the season on IR but is back on the active roster. It’s time to see what he can bring to the table, mainly because Mattison’s contract will expire after the season, and the Vikings need to know if the new backup, or maybe even more than that, is already in the building.

Patrick Jones

Vikings EDGE Rusher Quietly Blossoming
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The 24-year-old pass rusher has shown some flashes in his second professional campaign. Jones is buried on the depth chart behind excellent players. Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith are two of the best edge rushers in the business, so it’s clear why Jones is not receiving a lot of playing time.

Their top backup is D.J. Wonnum, the third-year player. Wonnum is playing much better this season as a backup compared to his first two seasons as a starter. Jones recorded 11 quarterback pressures, eight hurries, and three sacks in just 135 pass rush snaps.

Week 18 is the perfect opportunity to give the two stars some extra rest. Both entered the season after missing the majority of 2021 with injuries. Keeping them fresh could be a big factor in the postseason. In addition, the Vikings could evaluate if Jones can be a bigger part of the defense in the future.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt