This past Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings played their third game of the preseason in what is typically referred to as the “dress rehearsal” for teams as they prepare for the regular season. It is sometimes called this due to week four of the preseason being reserved for back-ups and players fighting to make a spot on the roster in general.
The Vikings starting roster is beginning to form and take shape of who fans can look forward to seeing on the field every week. There are spots covered by players like Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson that have been secure since last season came to an end. However, that was not the case at every position heading into the 2016 regular season.
Rookie wide receiver Laquon Treadwell was often placed with the secondary unit in the preseason, yet his performance on the field has shown that he has the proper components to excel at his respective position. He may not get thrown into a top spot on the depth chart from the word go, but he will provide a lot of trouble for Stefon Diggs and others if they fail to keep their skills sharp.
Detroit Lakes native Adam Thielen and former Arkansas Razorback Jarius Wright have also had a bit of a position battle, as coming out of the last game the spot is still up in the air. Thielen did not snag a single catch in the game against San Diego, while Wright grabbed one for 26 yards.
Fellow wide-out Cordarrelle Patterson will also be fighting to simply be noticed among what is growing to be one of the brightest positions in Minnesota. This position could very well be decided in the final preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams.
The offensive line is going to be looking to improve and early on it appears that new-comer from San Francisco Alex Boone is bound to end up with the starting left guard spot. Right guard should end up being occupied by Brandon Fusco and in the game against San Diego, the Vikings decided to play Joe Berger at center to test how he played with the rest of the first-teamers.
The current starting center listed on the depth chart John Sullivan sat out for the game from the request of the coaching staff. Sullivan missed a lot of last season with a back injury so Berger could very well just be getting some reps with the starting team as an insurance policy for the worst case scenario. Another possibility that very well could end being a reality is seeing Sullivan getting cut at the end of preseason. Berger’s play would need to convince Vikings management thoroughly, but it very well could end up happening.
As for the defense, it looks like Andrew Sendejo will get one more shot to try to put together a positive season for himself. Finding someone to play alongside Harrison Smith could end up going a long way in making opposing offenses fear this secondary. If Sendejo is not able to get it done, the Vikings have former two-time pro-bowler Michael Griffin to step into the picture.
Another position battle that likely won’t be settled by time the season begins is at cornerback. Currently, veteran Terrance Newman looks like he will once again resume his role as second on the depth chart. As the season progresses however, it could get snatched away. Second year player Trae Waynes had a terrific rookie outing and if his sophomore effort lives up to the hype, it then could provide bright opportunities in store for him.
Minnesota will play in their final preseason game on Thursday, September 1st against the Los Angeles Rams. Kickoff is set for 7 pm.