Mason Cole – C
Mason Cole earned his second start of the 2021 season and it wasn’t entirely clear if Garrett Bradbury was replaced due to his poor play, or if he hadn’t quite recovered from his bout with COVID-19.
Whatever the reason, the Vikings had a Cole in the middle of their offensive line for the third game in a row, and while the player was new, the result was the same.
Cole was manhandled for much of the game. He was repeatedly knocked on his butt or driven back into quarterback Kirk Cousins.
It appears he has the same exact issue that Bradbury does, which is the inability to anchor against big and powerful nose tackles. Cole did get an extremely tough draw being tasked with having to stop Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark and the mismatch was very apparent. Clark is one of the best in the league and he had no problem getting through and around Cole.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Vikings decide to do next week at the center position. Cole had a pretty solid debut game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9, but he definitely struggled against Green Bay. Minnesota might be screwed either way when it comes to the center position, but who starts next week will likely determine which way they go for the rest of the season.