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Bleacher Report – Vikings

What will the Vikings’ offensive line look like in the playoffs?

By Matthew Coller

Throughout the season, the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive line has done an exceptional job of dealing with injuries.

When Nick Easton went down early in Week 5, Jeremiah Sirles held down the fort for a few weeks, then rookie Danny Isidora slid in effectively when Sirles went down. Tackle Rashod Hill was impressive at times during Mike Remmers’ midseason absence and guard Joe Berger filled in at center admirably in week 17 when Pat Elflein sat out with a shoulder injury.

As the Vikings head into the playoffs, they will have all the pieces back in place except Easton who is on injured reserve. KSTP-TV’s Darren Wolfson reports that Elflein will be ready to play in the playoffs.

That leaves the Vikings with a few options. They could plug Sirles back into the left guard spot and leave all the other starters in place, but that would leave Hill, the Vikings’ best reserve lineman, on the bench.

Another option could be to move Berger to left guard, have Remmers again play right guard and use Hill at right tackle. An alignment that would look like this:

Reiff – Berger – Elflein – Remmers – Hill

Hill has struggled at times as a run blocker, but he has proven to be a strong pass blocker. Against the Bears, Remmers drew an extremely tough assignment in Akiem Hicks, who ranks as Pro Football Focus’s 15th best interior defensive lineman this season. Remmers largely performed well against Hicks as the Vikings rushed for 147 yards.

Remmers may be on the tall side for guards, but his strength and power as a run blocker could make him effective in that position.

When either Elflein or Easton has been out, the Vikings haven’t seen much success in the screen passing game, which is vital to their success on offense. Over the last two weeks, Jerick McKinnon has totaled one catch for nine yards.

In Week 17, the Vikings also showed something that we might see in the playoffs: Six linemen.

Aviante Collins mixed in for more than one-quarter of the Vikings’ offensive plays. If Kyle Rudolph is still hobbled by an ankle injury, they could use Collins or Sirles to create a mismatch for running plays or throws to Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs.

The post What will the Vikings’ offensive line look like in the playoffs? appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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