The Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings kick off preseason play against each other with the latter looking to fulfill championship expectations while the former hopes to find a quarterback of the future.
UPDATE: Vikings starters will see minimal playing time in the preseason opener.
The #Vikings’ starters will see minimal playing time in the preseason opener against the Broncos on Saturday, sources say. The plan sounds similar to each of the team’s six preseason openers under Mike Zimmer, when starters get a series or two.— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingStrib) August 13, 2021
Denver head coach Vic Fangio said both Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater will play in the opener. It appears Lock has the slight edge in the competition due to his experience with the team, but Bridgewater is coming off a better season. For the Vikings, head coach Mike Zimmer appears to be giving the starters a rest until the second preseason game. Given how the position has played out recently, don’t be surprised to see Jake Browning get the nod over Kellen Mond here.
Javonte Williams will be a rookie to watch in Denver’s backfield. The second-round pick is expected to get immediate work and should feature prominently in preseason play. Don’t expect the Vikings to throw Dalvin Cook out there. It’ll likely be a mix of Alex Mattison and Ameer Abdullah.
Courtland Sutton is coming off a big injury and is unlikely to get major work. The Broncos will likely sparingly play Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler. On Minnesota’s end, phenom Justin Jefferson will not play due to a shoulder injury. Don’t expect much of Adam Thielen either. Dede Westbrook is listed as questionable to play.
Albert Okwuegbunam will probably take the lead at tight end for the Broncos, although Noah Fant is listed as the starter. For the Vikings, Irv Smith Jr. should get some reps before the team turns things over to Tyler Conklin and Brandon Dillon.