Practice Observations

Tight Ends Face Tight Depth

Keep your tabs on this tight end group. Wednesday we saw two thirds of the group missing from practice as Kyle Rudolph dealt with ankle soreness and Blake Bell was not suited up with a shoulder issue.

Losing Rudolph, who has four touchdowns in his last three games, would be a big loss. “We’ll see later on in the week,” Zimmer said of the health of his starting tight end.

Meanwhile, David Morgan was limited as he continues to recover from a concussion, which occurred in the first series of the game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Boys Are Back In Town

Head coach Mike Zimmer said in his daily press conference he plans on getting “a lot” of his players back from injury this week against his former team the Cincinnati Bengals. This includes Mike Remmers, who has missed five weeks with a concussion and lower back injury. It also includes rookie center Pat Elflein, who missed the first game of his young career last week.

One lingering question remains on the offensive line, however, as Riley Reiff’s status still seems to be up in the air. Reiff did not practice today but was seen walking around Winter Park without a noticeable limp.

“I think we’ll get a lot of them back,” said Zimmer. “I think we should get [Pat] Elflein back this week. I think we should get [Mike] Remmers back. There’s a good chance possibility of getting [Riley] Reiff back.”

In an interview with backup tackle Rashod Hill, the second-year Viking said he was prepared to get the start for Reiff at left tackle if asked. Hill, who swung over to the left side last week, would look to continue his solid play as a backup, despite his undrafted status.

“It’ll be a lot easier for me this week just getting back in there at left,” said Hill, who is more accustomed to playing on the left side.

If Elflein and Remmers return, the starting lineup would from left-to-right read: Hill, Easton, Elflein, Berger, Remmers. The Vikings have not had their original lineup of starting offensive linemen together since Week 5 in Soldier Field against the division rival Chicago Bears.

Quarterback Quandary?

Nothing newsworthy stemming from the Vikings group of signal callers today at practice. However, it’s hard not to be pleased when considering the state of Minnesota’s quarterbacks.

History shows the Vikings’ major struggles at the quarterback position over the years. Despite what the future may hold for this group, seeing two legitimate NFL starters in Case Keenum and Teddy Bridgewater, as well as one of the best developmental players at the position in the league in Kyle Sloter along side them, helps put things into perspective.

Give Rick Spielman major props. For the first time since many can remember, the team’s quarterback group from top-to-bottom seems to be one of the best in the league. So let’s just enjoy it while we can.

Film Notes

Rough Patch

If there is such thing as a “good loss” this is it. The Vikings’ self inflicted wounds are likely one-time gaffs rather than sustainable habits. From missed tackles to blown coverage, the defense gave up an uncharacteristic opening-second-half drive. Prior to another Panthers touchdown, the defense took two critical penalties that gave Carolina first downs and extended the drive.

Expect the group to collect its thoughts and bounce back at home against a struggling Bengals team.


The Panthers sent the house early on first down, and it paid off. They consistently stopped Latavius Murray behind the line of scrimmage. This put Keenum and the offense in unfamiliar territory, and it looked lost at times when forced to move the ball down field.

Goes to show how amazingly efficient the offense had been heading into the game, putting themselves in so many third and manageable situations.

Your Weekly Jarius Wright Converting a Third Down

Play of the Game