The San Francisco 49ers are heading into their third week of preseason, but it’s not too early to start looking at their Week 1 opponent, the Minnesota Vikings. And the Vikings have gotten hit with the injury bug recently. Several young players looking to make the team have been put on ice, but the starters among the offensive line are also banged up.
OT Mike Remmers (ankle)
OT Rashod Hill (ankle)
C Pat Elflein (ankle—on PUP list)
G Nick Easton (Neck — IR)
That last one, Nick Easton is a definite ‘No’ for Week 1 and possibly the biggest blow to the line. Easton was placed on IR earlier last week effectively ending his season. Eflein entered the season on the PUP list after breaking his ankle during the 2017 NFC Championship Game and could return at any moment once he’s healthy. Remmers and Hill both seem to be dealing with something, but should be back in time for Week 1.
That’s just the offensive line. Cornerback Mackensie Alexander was injured in Saturday’s bloodbath of a game where six Vikings players went down and did not return to the field. Most of those injuries were to folks just trying to get a roster spots.
It all boils to the injury bug for the Vikings and something to keep an eye on as we approach Week 1. Remmers and Hill are a good bet to return to action. Eflein might be off the PUP list in time as well, but that’s a bit more cloudy. Easton could make a void in the offensive line. With the issues the 49ers have seen in their pass rush, this might make some opportunities. If Alexander’s injury proves anything serious, that’s another thing in the secondary to watch as well.
The Vikings very well may not be at full strength to start the season. They have depth, but the 49ers need any edge they can get.