The Minnesota Vikings come into Saturday’s playoff game with the San Francisco 49ers banged up, forcing a call to an old friend in the 41-year-old cornerback.
The Minnesota Vikings have a truckload of injury concerns ahead of their NFC divisional round playoff matchup with the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday. But while most people are fixated on whether Adam Thielen will have a “bloody sock” game, another major concern lies in the secondary.
The Vikings have been busy on the injury front, placing Mackensie Alexander and Mike Hughes on injured reserve in consecutive weeks. With Jayron Kearse also ruled out due to toe and knee injuries, Minnesota ended up activating Nate Meadors from the practice squad late this week. However, that might not have been their first choice.
The 41-year-old played 15 seasons in the NFL, but he hasn’t hit the field since 2017. Newman remained in touch with the Vikings as a coach during the 2018 season, but he left the role last offseason.
The willingness to call Newman should raise some eyebrows for Minnesota fans as they look to duplicate the effort that upset the New Orleans Saints last week. In that game, the Vikings got creative along the defensive line, moving Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter to the inside and using Andrew Sendejo as the nickel back.
With Sendejo having limited experience in the role, it’s a valid question as to how long that will be effective and Newman, who served as Minnesota’s nickel back for from 2015 to 2017.
As San Francisco enters Saturday’s game with an offense that ranked fourth in total offense, the Vikings will have to hope for a healthy game in order to pull off the upset.