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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Sirles prepares to start, lauds Reiff’s presence on Vikings O-line

By Matthew Coller

Following Nick Easton’s strongest game of the year, the Minnesota Vikings’ left guard will be out with a calf injury against the Green Bay Packers. The next man up is lineman Jeremiah Sirles, who played only 39 minutes at guard last year, but started 10 games at tackle in 2016.

“Things happen a little faster when you move inside,” Sirles said. “At tackle there’s a lot more space, timing things to deal with. Inside guys are on top of you a lot faster. I’ll have a great challenge going against a guy like [Mike] Daniels who is fast and strong and quick.”

Head coach Mike Zimmer said Thursday that Sirles’ versatility as a backup brings value to the team.

“It’s definitely changed up my preparation this week as far as being able to focus on one spot,” Sirles said. “I usually go into a game focusing on all four spots if I were to be thrust into battle at any of those place. Mentally this week it’s been easier for me to focus on the left guard spot and hone in on the gameplan and the smaller details of that one spot.”

At 6-foot-6, 315 pounds, Sirles is a powerful run blocker, which the Vikings will need as they go up against Green Bay’s Mike Daniels, who picked up sacks in each game against Minnesota last year.

Stopping Daniels and the Packers’ outside rushers – namely Nick Perry, who had 11.0 sacks last year – will be a joint effort between Sirles and left tackle Riley Reiff.

“The one nice thing is that during OTAs with [Alex] Boone being gone, Riley and I got to play a lot together,” Sirles said. “We didn’t get to play together a lot in camp because Riley was out and I was playing tackle, but I think we have a good chemistry.”

The Vikings’ next-man-up has been impressed by Reiff since the former Lion joined the team as a free agent this offseason.

“Riley is a tough son’ bitch,” Sirles said. “That’s the best way I can put it. He’s gonna wrestle people. He’s gonna fight people. It might not look pretty but he’s going to find a way to get his job done.

Reiff was named a captain prior to the season.

“He brings a great demeanor to the room, too,” Sirles said. “He brings a fighter mentality, that I’m-not-going-to-put-up-with-anything mentality. I think we’ve all rallied behind him as one of our captains.”

The post Sirles prepares to start, lauds Reiff’s presence on Vikings O-line appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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