It’s not all bad news for the Vikings. Teddy Bridgewater has a torn ACL and a dislocated knee, but no nerve damage. In other words, his career isn’t far, over from it, but his season is. The bigger question now is whether the Vikings’ season is over, too.
Minnesota’s gotten a lot of hype in the offseason. For good reason, after finishing with an 11-5 record last year and a missed field goal away from beating the Seahawks in the playoffs. The defense looks much better. They still have an offense built around Adrian Peterson, and the offensive line got a much needed upgrade.
Building a winning team around a good ground game and a strong defense isn’t exactly new. It’s not flashy, and Vikings fans probably aren’t going to find much solace in the fact that the team has been forced into the season with the same approach Jeff Fisher uses.
But don’t forget, the Vikings have Mike Zimmer, too, a coach who’s shown over and over again that he’s smart, tough as nails, and able to adjust to circumstances.
More: Mike Zimmer wasn’t afraid to say Cornelius Lucas Jersey how much he loves Teddy Bridgewater, and for some reason that’s rare
Offensive line — No quarterback was pressured more than Bridgewater was last season. He was pressured on 46.8 percent of his dropbacks, and it took a big bite out of the Vikings passing game, especially the deep passing game. Minnesota didn’t have Phil Loadholt at right tackle last year. They don’t have him this year either — he retired — but they installed Andre Smith in his place. The guards should be much better too thanks to the addition of Alex Boone. Don’t Dan Orlovsky Jersey forget, the Vikings also brought in a new offensive line coach, Tony Sparano, who’s got a much better record at that job than, say, interim head coach.
Head coach Chip Kelly acknowledged Kaepernick’s right to protest but said it didn’t shift the team’s focus from preparing for the final preseason game and for the regular season.
“We recognize his right to express his feelings, but that doesn’t affect what we do at 8:15 in the morning until we leave at 8 o’clock at night,” Kelly said. “We’re all about preparing for the Chargers game obviously this Thursday and, more importantly, for the Rams season opens up on Monday night.”
Prior to the game, Kaepernick met with Nate Boyer, former Green Beret and NFL long snapper, to discuss his decision to protest. Boyer had written an open letter saying that Kaepernick has the right to protest, but that he wished to understand better where Kaepernick was coming from.
Boyer and Kaepernick spent about 90 minutes together before the 49ers faced the Chargers. According to Fox’s Jay Glazer, the meeting was productive.
Thursday was yet another rough outing for the first overall pick from this year’s draft. Jared Goff finished 6 for 16 with 67 yards, a pick and a touchdown in the Rams’ 27-25 loss to the Vikings. Goff’s play through the preseason has been uninspiring enough that head coach Jeff Fisher said he’ll be the third-stringer, behind Case Keenum and Sean Mannion, a third-round pick last year, when the season opens.