Player News - Vikings

Date: Team: Pos:

The Vikings will start Gerald Hodges at middle linebacker in their regular season dress rehearsal.

Audie Cole started the first two preseason games, and rookie Eric Kendricks got the nod last week. Coach Mike Zimmer claims he does not view the penultimate preseason game as a dress rehearsal, but the reality is the Vikings' starters will play more snaps than they have all preseason. Hodges starting this game is a good sign for his role moving forward, but the starting job is still up for grabs. Kendricks is expected to play with the first-team nickel package.
Source: ESPN
Aug 27 - 10:32 AM

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune believes it is unlikely TE Chase Ford makes the final roster.

Ford's only chance would be if the Vikings keep four tight ends, which the Star-Tribune calls "unlikely." Ford showed well last year in a reserve role, and there are plenty of tight-end needy teams the Vikings could contact in search of a trade. If he is cut, Ford is unlikely to be without a home for long. 25-year-old Ford caught 23 passes for 258 yards and a touchdown last season.
Aug 25 - 11:06 AM

Vikings rookie MLB Eric Kendricks worked with the first-team defense in Monday's practice.

Audie Cole had been working with the first-team defense throughout training camp and started the first two preseason games. Kendricks got the nod in the third preseason game, and now appears to have a leg up in the competition. Kendricks is also seeing work with Chad Greenway in nickel.
Aug 25 - 9:57 AM

Teddy Bridgewater said his goal is to have better than a 70-percent completion rate.

Drew Brees was the last quarterback to post better than a 70-percent rate when he completed 71.2 percent of his passes in 2011. Tony Romo came close last year with a 69.9 rate. Bridgewater has completed 78.6 percent of his throws this preseason, and he has the short and intermediate accuracy to be one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the league. Bridgewater could push for QB1 status this season.
Aug 24 - 12:38 PM

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Matt Vensel believes Charles Johnson is "the receiver Teddy Bridgewater trusts most."

Bridgewater looked to Johnson whenever he needed to make a play Saturday against the Raiders including on a key fourth-down conversion. Bridgewater's chemistry with Johnson is hard to ignore. Vensel also said Johnson has an "attention to detail" that Cordarrelle Patterson lacks. We're forecasting a breakout year for Johnson in 2015.
Aug 23 - 12:12 PM

Blair Walsh has made just 7-of-16 field goals since Week 14 of last year and 2-of-6 during the Vikings' three preseason games.

Walsh went 0-for-3 in Saturday's preseason game and even missed one of his extra-point attempts. "It didn’t feel real good with how I hit the ball obviously, and the results showed that," said Walsh. "I have to do better. Preseason or regular season, that cannot happen, and I know that." The Vikings have to be at least a little concerned with Walsh after signing him to a four-year extension last month.
Aug 23 - 11:24 AM

Charles Johnson caught 4-of-5 targets for 40 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's preseason game against the Raiders.

The grabs were Johnson's first of the exhibition season. Abusing CB D.J. Hayden, Johnson caught a beautifully-lofted fade for a 10-yard score in the second quarter. Johnson is a WR3 with WR2 upside.
Aug 23 - 12:33 AM

Teddy Bridgewater completed 10-of-14 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's preseason game against the Raiders.

Bridgewater was sharp for the second straight week, dropping a beautiful fade to Charles Johnson for a 10-yard score. The ascendant sophomore is now 17-of-22 for 175 yards (7.95 YPA) and a touchdown through two exhibition contests. He's on the QB1 borderline.
Aug 22 - 9:12 PM

Audie Cole is the favorite to open the season as the Vikings' starting middle linebacker.

Cole lost out to Jasper Brinkley in last year's training camp, but he looks poised to beat out rookie Eric Kendricks this season. "He understands the system (better) out there," coach Mike Zimmer said. "Knows what to do. He's worked real hard." Cole had 14 total tackles in his one start last season.
Aug 20 - 1:14 PM

Vikings DC George Edwards said rookie CB Trae Waynes is "right on course."

Waynes has struggled throughout training camp and the preseason, but his coordinator does not seem worried. "Everybody is looking for an immediate impact out of him," Edwards said, "but … there are a lot of different things that go mentally with the corner position other than just lining up and playing man coverage on a guy." The transition from college cornerback to NFL cornerback is one a lot of first-round talents have struggled with the last several years. Waynes is unlikely to make an early impact, but that does not mean he will never develop into an NFL starter.
Aug 20 - 11:46 AM

Vikings rookie TE MyCole Pruitt (foot) has shed his protective walking boot.

He merely has a day-to-day injury and should be ready to go by the Vikings' regular season dress rehearsal. The star of the Hall of Fame Game, Pruitt is a name to keep in mind in case Kyle Rudolph's injury proneness returns.
Aug 19 - 8:34 PM

Vikings placed RT Phil Loadholt on injured reserve with a torn Achilles' tendon, ending his season.

By the time next season starts, Loadholt will have missed 21 consecutive games, as he sat out 2014's final five contests with a torn pec. Going on 30 and due $5.4 million in 2016, he'll be a candidate for release or restructure next offseason. Fourth-rounder T.J. Clemmings is the next man up on the right side. With LT Matt Kalil coming off an alarmingly-bad campaign, the Vikes can't be feeling good about their tackle situation.
Aug 18 - 1:24 PM

Vikings SLB Anthony Barr will make his preseason debut on Saturday.

Barr has been dealing with various knee-related issues since the final quarter of last season, but is ready to rock. "He’s feeling good," coach Mike Zimmer said. "We’ll get him some plays this week." Barr has the ability to take a major sophomore leap if he can stay on the field.
Aug 18 - 1:22 PM

Vikings fifth-round TE MyCole Pruitt is in a walking boot after injuring his ankle in Minnesota's second preseason game.

A star in the Hall of Fame game two weekends ago, Pruitt is expected to miss this week's preseason game. It's not expected to keep him out much longer than that. A highly-athletic playmaker, Pruitt has sewn up No. 2 tight end duties.
Aug 17 - 9:50 PM

Vikings DBs coach Jerry Gray wants his safeties to create more turnovers.

Robert Blanton only managed one interception last season despite starting 13 games. Blanton is still atop the depth chart this offseason, but Antone Exum could be making a strong push after forcing two turnovers in as many preseason games. Exum picked off five passes his junior year at Virginia Tech.
Aug 17 - 10:43 AM

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