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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings will analyze rash of injuries this offseason in search of answers

By Derek Wetmore

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – The Minnesota Vikings have had so many injuries to their offensive line that an objective observer would have to sit back and wonder how it could possibly happen all within a calendar year.

That’s just what the Vikings will try to do this offseason. They’ll become the objective observer once the bullets are done flying in the regular season – and, they hope, the playoffs. Head coach Mike Zimmer was asked Sunday if he intends to re-assess the carnage his team has suffered along the offensive line. Specifically at the tackle positions, if you were the superstitious type you’d be inclined to believe that offensive tackles on this team are snake-bitten.

“I honestly don’t think it’s anything to do with the strength and conditioning or any of that stuff,” Zimmer said. “After the season, obviously, we’re going to sit down and look at everything, look at that part of it. We’re going to look at when guys got hurt, where they got hurt, how they got hurt.

“But at this point, it’s just football things [causing injury],” he said.

In the 2014 season, the Vikings suffered a rash of pectoral (chest muscle) injuries while working out. After a review of the weight room or related injuries, the team fired strength and conditioning coach Evan Marcus, whose philosophy centered on training explosiveness using free weights.

When a team suffers one torn pectoral injury, it could simply be bad luck because, hey, injuries happen. This is football. It’s a brutal sport that demands a lot of players physically, and every one of them is aware that the 53 players who survive training camp to make the roster will not be the same 53 players still standing in those places in December. Still, when one team suffers a handful of the same injury – primarily while off the field – it raises eyebrows.

The Vikings two offseasons ago must have determined that it was outside the reach of mere coincidence that the pectoral injury bug struck so hard.

This time around, though, it doesn’t seem on the surface to be the same kind of systemic problem. Injuries have claimed games from Andre Smith, Matt Kalil, Jake Long, Mike Harris, Alex Boone and Brandon Fusco. And Phil Loadholt had to retire before training camp began. Joe Berger missed a good portion of the game on Thanksgiving with a concussion.

Various injuries, at various times. Just a matter of coincidence? The Vikings will try to figure that out this offseason. For now, Zimmer is chalking up the length of that list to plain old bad luck.

“We’ve obviously tried to put our finger on a lot of that, but we’re not getting guys hurt in the weight room. Most every one of them has been on the field or during the games or something like that,” Zimmer said.

The post Vikings will analyze rash of injuries this offseason in search of answers appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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