EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Vikings host their biggest rival Sunday night to open U.S. Bank Stadium, and we won’t know until then who the starting quarterback will be.
What the Vikings hope came out of Sunday’s win was a defensive identity, one that suggests they will be tough to play against every week.
“We know what we expect on defense and we have a standard that we want to meet,” linebacker Eric Kendricks said. “What you saw, creating turnovers and creating havoc. Putting points on the board.”
Now that they’ve opened with a Week 1 win, they have two things to look forward to this week: Officially opening a new stadium regular season style, and oh yeah, the team they get to play.
There is that small question of who will play quarterback, and no, we won’t find out if it’s Sam Bradford or Shaun Hill until the end of the week. Zimmer said Monday he’s not announcing his starting quarterback against the Packers until then, much like last week.
“I think it’s good for my team to know if we continue to go forward. I haven’t decided yet so we’ll figure all that stuff out,” Zimmer said.
Hill got the start Sunday in the Vikings’ 25-16 win at Tennessee. While the Vikings didn’t score an offensive touchdown, Hill did what he was asked. He finished 18-of-33 passing for 236 yards and most importantly, did not turn the ball over.
The Vikings acquired Bradford from the Eagles in exchange for a first-round pick next year and a 2018 fourth-round pick. Bradford didn’t play Sunday, but the popular opinion is that he will start Sunday night as the Vikings host the Packers in the first real game at the new $1 billion stadium. Zimmer said he’s not naming a starter until Sunday.
There is the issue of Xavier Rhodes’ health. He sat Sunday and isn’t sure about this week.
Zimmer also said cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who was a late scratch Sunday, does not need surgery and is day-to-day with a knee injury. Rhodes was inactive after going through stretching before the Titans game and hearing a pop in his knee. He had an MRI Monday.
Zimmer said he doesn’t know when Rhodes will be back or if the injury is long-term. The Vikings will need him Sunday against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ passing offense.
“It just didn’t feel right at that moment so now I just have to take it day-by-day. See how it feels when it comes to that time,” Rhodes said.
But this week they get to play here in the new stadium on a festive night.
“Oh I’m excited about it. Now it’s for real,” Captain Munnerlyn said. “In the preseason guys were like this and that, but now it’s for real. So I’m ready to see the fans come out and be loud.”
And oh yeah, this week they get to play against the Green Bay Packers.
“It’s going to be fun man but we can’t get ahead of ourselves. It’s the Packers and we just have to do what we do, play our style of football on both sides of the ball, special teams and just keep on grinding.”