Opposite Sideline: Vikings have issues

Aaron Nagler
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Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer watches as players warm up before an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.

The lowdown on the Green Bay Packers’ next opponent from a beat writer who covers that team.

The Green Bay Packers head to Minneapolis on Sunday night for an early-season divisional showdown with the reigning NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings. Both teams are coming off opening-day victories and both showed they still have plenty to work on.

We caught up with Chris Tomasson, who covers the Vikings for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, to get a better feel for what's going on with Minnesota heading into Sunday night. You can see some of his answers below and more in the conversation above.

1. Will the Vikings be able to play as much press-man technique as they did last year if cornerback Xavier Rhodes misses the game?

"I think the Vikings will look to do a lot of the same things if Trae Waynes has to replace Xavier Rhodes on Sunday. Waynes has matured greatly since last year, when he barely played as a rookie and was shaky sometimes when he did. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer liked how Waynes was tight in coverage when he started for Rhodes last Sunday at Tennessee. He said some balls were caught when Waynes contested them, and now the Vikings must eliminate some of those receptions."

2. Can we expect Lequon Treadwell to see the field against the Packers after he didn’t get a single snap on offense against the Titans?

"I would be surprised if Treadwell plays much of a role against the Packers. Maybe he’ll get in for a token play or two, but the Vikings have so much depth at wide receiver they don’t need Treadwell to play immediately. It’s also possible that Treadwell isn’t even active if the Vikings decide instead to use Jarius Wright, the veteran receiver who was inactive in the opener."

3. Do you expect a better performance from the Vikings’ offensive line at home against Green Bay than we saw down in Tennessee?

"The line should be better. Against the Titans, it was the first time the entire offensive line had been intact for a game this season. During the preseason, guard Brandon Fusco and tackle Matt Kalil both missed time. If Sam Bradford starts at quarterback and can prove more dangerous than Shaun Hill, that also could help the line in the running game if the Packers decide they can’t key as much on Adrian Peterson as the Titans did."

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