4 early takeaways from Vikings 2020 training camp

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Riley Reiff
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Riley Reiff /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) Jaleel Johnson /

New nose tackle will likely come from within

Already dealing with the task of replacing multiple starters on defense this season, the Vikings were dealt a blow before the start of this year’s training camp when nose tackle Michael Pierce decided to opt-out of the season due to health concerns relating to the COVID-19 virus.

Since his decision, many have been attempting to figure out who Minnesota will select as their new nose tackle with Pierce now out of the picture. Would the Vikings turn to someone who is already on their roster or would they look outside of their organization for an experienced veteran who is still available in free agency?

In an attempt to add some depth to their interior defensive line, Minnesota ended up trading with the Las Vegas Raiders for defensive tackle P.J. Hall. However, Hall failed his physical following the deal which resulted in the trade being called off and the young defensive tackle getting sent back to the Raiders.

Even though it fell through, the trade seemed to be an indication that the Vikings are likely going to select one of their current defensive tackles to replace Pierce this season and if they add any more players to the position group, it will likely be solely for the purpose to improve their depth.

Shamar Stephen or Jaleel Johnson seem like the two frontrunners for Pierce’s vacant starting spot. Even if Minnesota’s new starting nose tackle isn’t Stephen or Johnson, it still feels like the role will be given to someone who was already on the roster before the start of this year’s training camp unless a slew of injuries forces them to do otherwise.