Let’s be honest here. Most casual fans will skip the final preseason game of the year no matter who their favorite team is. This is not because they are tired of “meaningless” football games, but because most of the starters will be sitting out and many of the guys that are suiting up will either be released or put on the practice squad. For most, watching games like this are a waste of time for them. However, hardcore fans watch this game with a magnifying glass.
Battles for roster spots on the Minnesota Vikings team will continue in the final preseason game tomorrow against the Tennessee Titans. Players will be fighting to stay with a team instead of released into the pool of free agents. For those players, this could be the most important game of their career. It is their last chance to make a positive impression on their coaching staff. Many Minnesota Vikings players will be fighting for their professional football careers on Thursday.Aug 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Joe Banyard (23) gets ready to play the Oakland Raiders at TCF Bank Stadium. Vikings win 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
While the superstars and starters sit, others wait patiently for their opportunity to shine. Minnesota Vikings fans who watched last year’s preseason finale against the Titans saw players like running back Joe Banyard and Rodney Smith have good games that led to them landing a spot on the practice squad. This year, those two guys are fighting for spots on the regular roster. It just goes to show how important keeping the right players on the practice squad is to the team.
There are many players who could find themselves in a similar role this year. Many players are on the fringe of either the Minnesota Vikings final roster or the practice squad that this competition could be the intense of all the games that we’ve seen so far.
So, before you brush this off as a meaningless game with no star power, remember that these are players who could be next year’s Adam Thielen or Rodney Smith. And they’ll also all be fighting for their professional football futures.