Vikings vs Bears – Week 17

Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears
Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears

Vikings & Bears Final Injury Reports

The Vikings final injury report for Week 17 looks like this:

  • MLB Eric Kendricks, Out
  • RB Dalvin Cook, Out
  • RB Alexander Mattison, Questionable
  • CB Mackenzie Alexander, Questionable
  • S Jayron Kearse, Questionable

The Chicago Bears injury report lists:

  • WR Taylor Gabriel, Out
  • DT Eddie Goldman, Out
  • DT Akiem Hicks, Out
  • OL Bobby Massie, Doubtful
  • OL Rashaad Coward, Doubtful
  • CB Prince Amukamara, Questionable

And, according to ESPN’s Courtney Cronin, the Vikings will likely sit starters against the Bears.

Week 17 Pre-Season Game?

So it appears we have a Week 17 preseason game on our hands this Sunday, which is probably for the best.

According to The Athletic‘s Arif Hasan, the Vikings’ most likely Wild Card opponent is the New Orleans Saints.

The most likely opponent for the Vikings is the Saints, who — using FiveThirtyEight’s individual matchup odds — appear as the Vikings’ opponent in the playoffs in 49.3 percent of simulations. The most common scenario for this to occur would be wins from the Packers, Saints and 49ers in Week 17. (If all three of those teams lose, the Vikings opponent would still be the Saints.)

Odds for every Vikings playoff scenario, and how you should feel about them

That’s a daunting task for the Vikings and they will need all hands healthy and on-deck if they expect to have any chance of winning against the Saints. In the Superdome.

After their abysmal showing against the Packers on Monday night, the Vikings offense certainly could use some reps to try and figure out a good defense.

Through two games this season, the Packers have demonstrated to the rest of the league that you can shut down the Vikings offense by keeping quarterback Kirk Cousins from rolling out and by applying pressure up the middle.

The Vikings interior offensive line has been just fine against less talented defenses. But in the playoffs, everyone is talented. By definition.

Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski has yet to devise a solution to that problem. And that’s a problem.

Backups Step Up?

Photo: Ifeadi Odenigbo
Ifeadi Odenigbo. Photo courtesy Minnesota Vikings.

On the plus side, it will be interesting to see how the Vikings second- and third-stringers stack up against a defender’s starters, even if the Bears have several notables who will not play.

Unlike many people, I like watching pre-season games in order to get a sense of the talent level and depth of the Vikings’ roster beyond the starters. But that’s not particularly easy to do when the competition is also second- and third-stringers.

This game against the Bears will provide a much better demonstration of the Vikings talent down the roster.

So who will we see on the field on Sunday?

Vikings Backup Roster: Offense

  • Quarterback: Sean Mannion
  • Running Backs: Ameer Abdullah, Mike Boone, CJ Ham
  • Wide Receivers: Bisi Johnson, Laquon Treadwell, Alexander Hollins
  • Tight Ends: Irv Smith Jr, Tyler Conklin
  • Tackles: Rashod Hill, Aviante Collins, Oli Udoh
  • Guards: Dakota Dozier, Dru Samia
  • Center: Pat Elflien is listed as the backup center but maybe Garrett Bradbury should play, given his performance against the Packers.

Vikings Backup Roster: Defense

  • Defensive Ends: Stephen Weatherly, Ifeadi Odenigbo
  • Defensive Tackles: Jaleel Johnson, Jalyn Holmes, Armon Watts, Hercules Mata’afa
  • Linebackers: Eric Wilson, Kentrell Brothers, Cameron Smith
  • Cornerbacks: Mike Hughes, Holton Hill, Kris Boyd
  • Safeties: (With Jayron Kearse out) Anthony Harris, Andrew Sendejo

There’s a lot of proven talent on our backup squad, so it will be interesting to see how they stack up.

Aside from that, this game is kind of a big Meh.