Vikings vs Rams Preview
It's a full slate for the NFL preseason this weekend including the debut for the injury-depleted Minnesota Vikings versus the St. Louis Rams.
The Vikings team that suits up against the Rams on Saturday may not look anything like the team that takes the field in Week 1. For Vikings' fans' sake, that better be the case anyway. Everyone already knows about the Brett Favre situation. As the Vikings wait for Favre's final decision Tarvaris Jackson will get the preseason starts at QB, while Sage Rosenfels and Joe Webb should also see some action Saturday night. The Vikings' list of MIA players doesn't end with Favre.
Nearly all of the Vikings' starting offense is banged up and isn't expected to play this weekend. Sidney Rice is out for sure since he's sitting on the PUP list with an injured hip. Adrian Peterson is dealing with a sore hamstring and will likely be held out as a precaution, and Percy Harvin has missed a lot of time this month after migraines, which have bothered him throughout his career, returned.
You can also add tight end Visanthe Shiancoe to the list, as he is questionable with an undisclosed strain. Thanks to the Vikings' injury-riddled roster the Rams are a 1.5-point favorite tonight despite winning only one game all last season. St. Louis will start A.J. Feeley at quarterback against Minnesota, but he's expected to give way to No. 1 pick Sam Bradford some time in the first quarter. The Rams' coaching staff wants Bradford to get some time with the team's first unit, so he should see the field with Steven Jackson and Donnie Avery. They could help take off some of the pressure for Bradford in his debut.
The rest of the Saturday NFL preseason schedule includes six other games. Some of the headliners are Houston (-1) at Arizona with Matt Leinart at QB, Detroit at Pittsburgh (-2.5) with the Steelers getting ready for Ben Roethlisberger's suspension, and Chicago at San Diego (-3) with the Chargers also shorthanded due to holdouts. Rounding out the rest of the Saturday preseason slate are Tampa Bay at Miami (-3.5), Cleveland at Green Bay (-2.5), and Tennessee at Seattle (-3). There are only two games on tap for Sunday with San Francisco (-3) at Indianapolis and Denver at Cincinnati (-3.5). The Bengals are playing their second game after falling to Dallas 16-7 in the Hal of Fame Game last weekend.