5 Vikings players with the most to prove in Week 1 vs. the Bengals

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Ihmir Smith-Marsette
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Ihmir Smith-Marsette /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Rashod Hill /

Rashod Hill – LT

In all honesty, who on the Vikings offensive line doesn’t have a lot to prove this week. Even star lineman Brian O’Neill has a lot to prove coming off his massive contract extension. But at a position that is so crucial to the game, Rashod Hill will need to have a good outing in week one not only for his sake but for Kirk Cousins’ sake as well.

Hill has had a very up and down career so far in the NFL, posting a solid 72.4 PFF grade last season, but also posting a rough 61.0 PFF grade the season before. These grades are based on a very small sample size for Hill, as he only played 121 offensive snaps in 2020, and has not played over 500 snaps since 2018 which was arguably his worst career year.

The stats are not entirely positive for Hill, but rookie first-round pick Christian Darrisaw is still recovering from core surgery this off-season, so the Vikings need Hill to step up and produce.

The clock is ticking for Hill as the starter in Minnesota, as Darrisaw will most likely take over at some point this season (assuming he’s healthy). If Hill is able to play at a starting-caliber level this could give the Vikings the opportunity to rehab Darrisaw and not have to force him into game action. Vikings fans everywhere will be watching the LT position closely this Sunday, as the team can ill afford a poor showing from the longest-tenured lineman on the team.