5 players the Vikings can’t afford to lose to injury in 2020

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Danielle Hunter
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Danielle Hunter /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Garrett Bradbury – Minnesota Vikings /

Garrett Bradbury – C

While Garrett Bradbury‘s play was erratic a season ago, losing him would be very costly for the Vikings. Bradbury was a much better run blocker than pass blocker last year. He was often overwhelmed by powerful nose tackles and struggled to anchor. Hopefully, he has improved his strength this offseason or the Vikings will be in trouble even with him in there.

If he gets hurt for a long stretch of time, the Vikings would likely use Pat Efllein at this position. Even as bad as Bradbury was at times last season, Elflein would be worse. Ever since he got hurt in the 2018 NFC Championship game, Elflein hasn’t been the same player. He has lost that mean streak and really struggles in pass protection. He would be a downgrade at center, no question about it.

Not only would the center position be downgraded in this scenario, but the guard position would be as well. While Elflein has been very bad at left guard, he is still a solid run blocker. The depth behind him right now on the Vikings depth chart is horrifying. Aviante Collins and undrafted Tyler Higby are two of the options. Collins has had some moments but hasn’t been able to stay healthy or be consistent. Higby is a longshot to even make the practice squad and certainly can’t be expected to be a backup in 2020. The team could get nutty and move Oli Udoh to guard. That could work, but could also blow up in their faces.

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The fact of the matter is the interior of the Minnesota Vikings offensive line lacks talent and experience. They cannot afford to lose a starter at any of these positions, as there is nothing but unknowns on the depth chart.