4 Vikings players who could be benched after the bye week

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) Jaleel Johnson – Minnesota Vikings /

Jaleel Johnson – DT

Stopping the run has been one of the key factors behind the Minnesota Vikings’ success over the years. This has been a solid defensive foundation from which to build during Mike Zimmer’s reign, but things aren’t exactly going to plan in this particular area of the field

Jaleel Johnson had plenty of extra expectations on his shoulders this season. The Vikings lost stud defensive tackle Linval Joseph and Pro Bowler Everson Griffen in free agency, with Stephen Weatherly also taking his chances elsewhere in favor of a move to the Carolina Panthers.

This decimated their defensive line, which has also been without the services of Danielle Hunter for the entirety of the campaign. Minnesota’s trade for Yannick Ngakoue looks to be good business, but their ability to stop the run has been significantly hampered by some key departures.

Johnson hasn’t produced the goods efficiently. He has struggled to prevent runners from getting between the tackles and offers very little when it comes to getting in the backfield consistently.

Again, the Vikings don’t have much in the way of alternatives. If things continue to disappoint from a results perspective, then it might be a good opportunity for the coaching staff to throw rookie James Lynch into the mix more prominently and seeing how he copes in the face of adversity.