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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Zimmer considering playing starters in fourth preseason game

By Matthew Coller

Mike Zimmer’s tune on playing starters in preseason has changed over the past few weeks.

Earlier this offseason, he was mulling cutting back playing time for his first team after seeing several key injuries around the league.

But after a poor performance by the starting offense and defense against San Francisco on Sunday, Zimmer is now considering giving them more of a tune up in Thursday night’s preseason finale.

“I’ve made up my mind but I haven’t told the team yet or anything like that, Ihaven’t told the coaches yet either,” Zimmer said. “After the other night I feel like they should play but we’ll see.”

The Vikings’ first teams played the entire first half against the 49ers, but there were some switches on the offensive line and in the backfield.

It was assumed that the starting offensive line on Sunday would be the one we see when the Vikings open up against the New Orleans Saints on September 11, but there remains the possibility of a change at guard.

On Wednesday, Joe Berger did not take first-team snaps at right guard. Instead, rookie Pat Elflein played in the middle and Nick Easton played on the right side. The two centers have been battling for a starting job throughout camp, but Zimmer has opened the door to both playing.

Also from practice: Datone Jones, Anthony Harris and Emmanuel Lamur all did not participate. If they don’t play Thursday, that could point toward being let go when the roster is cut down from 90 to 53.

Kyle Rudolph did not practice and Kyle Carter took a number of reps with the first team. If Rudolph’s injury carries over to the regular season, the Vikings could end up keeping David Morgan, Carter and Bucky Hodges on the roster.

Zimmer talked again on Wednesday about how much he likes CJ Ham’s versatility as a fullback and running back.

“He’s a really good athlete, and obviously he’s got some extra value being able to be an extra back, but he’s been good on getting to the linebackers and delivering a punch when he gets there,” Zimmer said.

The post Zimmer considering playing starters in fourth preseason game appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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