Plenty of attention will be focused on today’s battle at Mall of America Field between the NFC North-leading Vikings and the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals. People want to know – can QB Brett Favre and Co. rebound? Will Cedric Benson go for 100 against the Vikings defense? How will Antoine Winfield play in his return from injury?
But another interesting subplot has developed this week. Injuries have fostered circumstances that will put several Vikings rookies in a showcase today.
WR/KR Percy Harvin has been ruled out of today’s game, so he’s one rookie who won’t be showcased. But every other member of the team’s draft class will play an important role in today’s game. Here’s a quick look at each of them:
RT Phil Loadholt – The 2nd rounder will start his 11th game today but he is coming off an injury to his shoulder that he suffered last week in Arizona. Loadholt came back in the game and finished, but it’ll be interesting to see how he responds today against a stout Bengals defensive line.
CB Asher Allen – Antoine Winfield is back in the starting lineup and Cedric Griffin will also go today after injuring his neck last week, but Allen will continue to have a significant role because CB Karl Paymah is inactive. Allen will be on the field often for both special teams duty and defensive snaps.
LB Jasper Brinkley – The injury last week to E.J. Henderson forced the Vikings to place him on injured reserve. As a result, Jasper Brinkley steps into the starting lineup and into the eye of the storm of the Vikings defense. How will he transition? Will the Vikings defense go on without missing a beat? It’s up to this talented 5th rounder.
S Jamarca Sanford – Starter Tyrell Johnson suffered a concussion last week and will not play today. Sanford steps in and will play alongside Madieu Williams. Sanford has been awesome on special teams for the Vikings this season and I’m anxious to see him play as a starter on defense.
Tags: Asher Allen, Jamarca Sanford, Jasper Brinkley, Percy Harvin, Phil Loadholt
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 6 Comments »