5 Vikings to Watch: Preseason Week 2 vs. the Seahawks

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Chad Beebe
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Chad Beebe /
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(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Shamar Stephen
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Shamar Stephen /

DT Shamar Stephen

It’s always great when a former Viking finds his way back home, It doesn’t happen all that often and though he was only away for a year, his run-stuffing ability was sorely missed.

Shamar Stephen has been M.I.A. for a large portion of Vikings training camp, at least when it comes to live-action drills. He’s overcoming an undisclosed injury and finally took the field earlier this week. He will hopefully see some live reps with his first-team compadres this Sunday night.

The Vikings first-team run defense was pretty substandard during the game against the Saints. It seemed the Saints were getting about 4 yards a pop when they went up the middle and were met with little resistance when they challenged Holmes and Johnson. Obviously, the Vikings defense isn’t game-planning and Jaleel Johnson is quite a step down from Linval Joseph, so it’s not a big concern overall.

However, it will be interesting to see if Shamar Stephen can help shore up that run defense. This guy is a master at stuffing the run. His ability to not only shut down running lanes in the middle but also free up his linebackers should make a huge difference. Hopefully, that is a difference we all see this Sunday.