Minnesota Vikings offensive line will look different in 2016
By Adam Carlson
After a struggling 2015 season on the offensive line, the Minnesota Vikings made a big splash in free agency and worked to keep their own talent in tact.
Saying that the Minnesota Vikings struggled on the offensive line last season could be considered an understatement. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was running for his life on many occasions and running back Adrian Peterson was getting stuffed at the line of scrimmage too often to keep things the way they were.
Of course, much of that had to do with big injuries to center John Sullivan and right tackle Phil Loadholt. Their physical condition for the 2016 status still isn’t known, but if both can return in top physical condition, thing could be interesting on the offensive line.
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Health isn’t the only factor important to the Minnesota Vikings offensive line. The team brought back guard/tackle Mike Harris and had a big signing by picking up former 49ers guard Alex Boone. Boone is a tough, mean lineman who can be plugged in at either guard spot and be effective.
Here is how the Vikings offensive line will likely look for the 2016 NFL season if all the players return in good health with the recent signings in place:
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- LT: Matt Kalil
- LG: Alex Boone
- C: John Sullivan
- RG: Brandon Fusco
- RT: Phil Loadholt
This formation leaves out some versatile players, such as last year’s starting right tackle T.J. Clemmings. Clemmings can be a great backup at multiple spots just like Mike Harris and center/guard Joe Berger. With all that talent and so few spots available, the Minnesota Vikings should be prepared in the event of more injuries or other problems during the 2016 season.
Of course, there is also the possibility that another signing could happen on the Vikings offensive line to change this projected starting lineup. That’s the beauty of free agency: sometimes players fall though the cracks after day one and become great bargain pickups.
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At least for now, Minnesota Vikings fans can rest a little more comfortably knowing the team is attempting to make things easier for their star running back and young quarterback going forward. With how much the offense struggled last season, any addition can be a big help. And getting back two strong veterans, retaining a stud, and bringing in a player with a mean streak indicates things might be better during 2016.