Linval Joseph – DT
Did we mention Minnesota’s defense can’t stop the run? Well, in terms of yards allowed per carry, the Vikings have been fairly decent this season (12th-lowest average). But opposing teams have been wearing down Minnesota this year by running the ball at a high rate and exhausting the defense.
Unlike in season’s past, the Vikings’ opponents don’t have to worry about a massive defensive tackle like Linval Joseph to clog up their running lanes. In two of their three games this year, Minnesota has allowed the opposing running back to finish with at least 100 yards on the ground.
That isn’t something that has typically happened during Mike Zimmer’s tenure as the Vikings head coach. But like we mentioned earlier, Minnesota had Joseph to clog up holes in the past and he’s not a part of their roster this season.
Instead, the talented defensive tackle is now a member of the Los Angeles Chargers. So far this year, Joseph has appeared in all three games for the Chargers and he’s racked up a total of 10 tackles and two pressures.
The Vikings’ original plan was to replace their longtime nose tackle with free-agent Michael Pierce. But then Pierce opted-out for the season due to COVID-19 concerns and Minnesota has been forced to turn to other defensive tackles on their roster who are better suited for the three-technique role and not as a nose tackle.
So since the Vikings’ replacement plan didn’t end up working out, Joseph has to be someone who Zimmer still wishes was on his team’s roster this year.