3 Losers from Vikings 3rd Preseason Game

Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker Zach McCloud (53) reacts after sacking Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall (not shown) as guard Jack Snyder (68) and offensive tackle Christian DiLauro (61) looks on during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings kept their preseason losing streak alive as they haven’t won a game since 2019, long before the departure of former head coach Mike Zimmer. But the good news is that the preseason is meaningless and the Vikings start their season with an 0-0 record on September 10th.

3 Losers from Vikings 3rd Preseason Game

While the result of the game is meaningless, some players of the NFC North club stood out in a bad way in the 18-17 defeat.

Andrew Booth

The second-year cornerback hasn’t had the start to his career he and the Vikings hoped for and he is an easy loser in Saturday’s preseason contest just because he was participating. Every starter, and even a lot of significant backups, had the day off and were just standing and sitting on the sidelines while Booth played.

3 Losers from Vikings 3rd Preseason Game
Tennessee Titans running back Tyjae Spears (32) slips past Minnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023.

The battle for the cornerback spots ended weeks ago. Fellow sophomore Akayleb Evans will start on the outside opposite of free-agent addition Byron Murphy, while rookie Mekhi Blackmon will be handling the nickel duties and even veteran Joejuan Williams seems to be ahead on the depth chart.

It is the second defensive coordinator who is not particularly banking on the former second-rounder and he might be running out of chances soon. The good news is that he had a solid game without any huge mistakes. His draft status will likely still secure him a roster spot but to see the field in the regular season, he needs at least a couple of injuries in the cornerback room.

Thayer Thomas

When training camp kicked off, there were three players returning punts — Brandon Powell, Jalen Reagor, and Thayer Thomas. Regaor is the incumbent returner, Powell is a veteran at that job, and Thomas is an undrafted rookie.

Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Bobby Price (26) tackles Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Thayer Thomas (89) in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas is also a solid route runner and some videos out of training camp highlighted that. A problem of his is the lack of high-end speed, especially compared to Powell and Reagor. Still, some players carve out long careers with that skill set but they need to start as reliable special teams players and this is where Thomas lost a chance to make the roster on Saturday.

He muffed his second punt of the preseason and that is unacceptable. Thomas also left the game without a catch after hauling in five passes in the first two games for 41 yards. Today’s contest likely ended his dream to make the 53-man roster in Minnesota.

Third-String Offensive Line

The second-stringers played well against the shaky Cardinals’ defense and did a good job building pockets for Hall and opening some holes in the running game. Blake Brandel and the five starters didn’t dress.

Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall (16) hands the ball off to running back Abram Smith (41) against the Arizona Cardinals during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The third-string line was a totally different story. Ex-Vikings defender Zach McCloud may have made the roster by default for dominating the Vikings linemen and he is an undrafted second-year player without a regular season appearance.

Jarrid Williams, Jack Snyder, and Christian DiLauro all had disastrous games and there is no way for them to make the team, especially because it was not their first time struggling. All of them were signed during training camp and they will be free agents when the roster cutdowns take place on Tuesday.

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