5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears – Week 18

(Photo by Kayla Wolf/Getty Images) Nick Mullens
(Photo by Kayla Wolf/Getty Images) Nick Mullens /
3 of 6
Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Khyiris Tonga /

There will be revenge games galore

If the Vikings do rest their starters, it won’t take all of the intrigue out of this game.

The Vikings and Bears have shared a common link throughout this season, as Ryan Poles was reportedly Minnesota’s first choice for general manager before he was hired by the Bears. Although the Vikings hired Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, the links continued when Poles claimed Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Armon Watts off waivers.

Those pickups haven’t gone as planned for the Bears. Smith-Marsette fumbled away a comeback attempt late in the Week 5 meeting with the Vikings and is now on the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad. Watts was a starter during the early weeks of the season but has now settled into a reserve role for Chicago.

Meanwhile, Adofo-Mensah has done his own pillaging of the Bears’ roster to greater success. Duke Shelley was a fifth-round pick by Ryan Pace but was signed to the Vikings’ active roster as injuries piled up in the secondary. Khyiris Tonga was also waived by Chicago but has found a secondary role as a run-stuffer along the defensive line.

If we’re looking at a battle of second-stringers, we could see Shelley and Tonga play a key role in how this game is decided. Perhaps it’s personal pride, but it could lead to an inspired performance on Sunday.