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Bleacher Report – Vikings

10 Vikings who can solidify a roster spot on Sunday

By Matthew Coller

For veteran players, the preseason is nothing more than a tune up, but those on the bubble are playing for their NFL lives.

There are a handful of Minnesota Vikings who have made a case for a spot on the 53-man roster, but they will have to step up in the ever-important third preseason game to lock themselves into a role.

Here are 10 players who have a shot, but need to put together a good performance on Sunday at US Bank Stadium:

Tashawn Bower, Ifeadi Odenigbo, Stephen Weatherly and Jaleel Johnson

The Vikings have an abundance of young, talented defensive linemen who have all made an impact during the preseason. Head coach Mike Zimmer talked about the tough decisions upcoming on the defensive front.

“This week will be a big week for a lot of these guys,” Zimmer said. “Some of these young defensive lineman have looked good. Jaleel Johnson has had a couple good ballgames, Ifeadi [Odenigbo] has done a nice job in some areas, [Tashawn] Bowers, [Stephen] Weatherly. So they’re showing some things that could be valuable for us down the road.”

All four can end up on the 53 if the Vikings use 10 spots on defensive linemen or they decide not to keep Datone Jones, who was signed this offseason to move from linebacker to defensive tackle.

If the Vikings would prefer to keep eight or nine, the best performers over the last two preseason games will determine which players stick.

Willie Beavers

Yes, that Willie Beavers. The same player who was cut last year after being drafted in the fourth round. After struggling during the first preseason game, he bounced back against the Seahawks and showed some promise. Beavers has spent most of training camp and preseason working with the second team, which gives him a chance to be the No. 5 tackle behind Riley Reiff, Mike Remmers, Rashod Hill and Jeremiah Sirles.

Antone Exum Jr.

It was unclear whether Exum would have a spot in the secondary heading into camp, but his ability to play both nickel corner and safety gibes the former seventh-round pick an advantage over the Vikings’ other DBs.

Kyle Carter

Few players have made as much progress as Carter. He currently stands ahead of sixth-round pick Bucky Hodges on the Vikings’ depth chart, especially because of his improvement as a run blocker. The former Penn State tight end can lock himself in as the No. 3 tight end with a good game. His play has forced the Vikings to debate whether they should keep fourth tight ends.

CJ Ham

It’s tough to say whether the Vikings will keep a fullback or go with four tight ends instead, but Ham has seen a lot of reps with the first team this offseason. His versatility as a backup running back helps his cause. With the starters expected to play more, Ham will have his chance to block for the top runners.

Rodney Adams

The former South Florida star’s preseason has included some bumps in the road, but Adams has mostly set himself up to have a role in the offense as a playmaker out of the slot and possibly a job on special teams – but he hasn’t been the smoothest kick and punt returner thus far. Still, Adams’ quickness and ability with the ball in his hands should put him on the 53. He still has to put together a good game to show that he’s more than just a placeholder at the bottom of the receiving corps.

Stacy Coley

The Vikings’ seventh-round pick has flashed some impressive physical skills throughout camp and in the team’s first preseason game, but there have been a few miscommunications with quarterbacks that may give the coaching staff some pause. Still, with Michael Floyd suspended for the first four weeks, the door is open for Coley to have another big game and land a job.

The post 10 Vikings who can solidify a roster spot on Sunday appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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