3 silver linings from the Vikings loss to the Packers in Week 17
By Nik Edlund
Backups will get a chance to prepare
The worst part about losing to the Packers is the fact the Vikings lost two members of the offensive line in the process.
Backup center Austin Schlottmann broke his fibula and right tackle Brian O’Neil injured his calf muscle. They have both been ruled out for the remainder of the season and now the Vikings will have to rely on backups to protect Kirk Cousins in the playoffs.
The silver lining here is that at least Chris Reed and Oli Udoh will have basically two weeks to prepare. They both ended up playing the majority of the game against the Packers and will be in line to start when the Vikings finish the regular season this Sunday in Chicago.
This means they’ll be familiar with all the snap counts and audibles and will get full weeks of reps with the first team, building rapport with the offense. Chris Reed was awful in all of those aspects when he was thrust into action but seemed to settle in as last Sunday’s game progressed.
Even if the Vikings usurp Reed in the lineup with newly signed Greg Mancz, the newcomer will also have time to acclimate to the offense before he’s relied on to provide protection when everything is on the line.