EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings are set to host the Cardinals at noon (CT) Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The matchup concludes the 2023 preseason for both teams and caps a week that featured two days of joint practices at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.
Here are all the ways to catch the action, followed by three things the Vikings.com editorial staff will be watching for during the game.
SIMULCAST TV AND RADIO
TV: KMSP FOX 9 in the Twin Cities
Check local listings in Duluth, Rochester and Mankato; Fargo and Bismarck, North Dakota; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Des Moines, Iowa; La Crosse, Wisconsin
RADIO: KFAN (100.3-FM), KTLK 1130-AM and the five-state Vikings Radio Network
Kickoff: Noon (CT)
Play-by-Play: Paul Allen
Analyst: Pete Bercich
Sideline reporter: Ben Leber
Note: The pregame radio show on the Vikings Radio Network will begin at 10 a.m. (CT).
Audio Streaming Option: Catch the audio broadcast on your smart devices through the KFAN channel on the iHeart app.
Catch the Vikings on Tico Sports at WREY "El Rey" 94.9 FM and 630 AM in the Twin Cities and on Tico-Sports.com, elrey949fm.com and Vikings.com.
VIDEO STREAMING OPTIONS
Within the Twin Cities market, as well as designated international markets in the United Kingdom and Canada, viewers can stream the game live on the Vikings app or on Vikings.com.
Click here for the full bevy of options that include over-the-air, cable, satellite, over-the-top and streaming methods.
NFL+ AND NFL+ PREMIUM
Start your free trial of NFL+ today to watch Vikings preseason games live or on-demand.
NFL+ and NFL+ Premium provide all the action when you are on the go. It is available in the NFL app and at NFL.com/plus.
NFL+ is available for $4.99/month or $39.99/year and offers the following:
· Live out-of-market preseason games across devices
· Live local and prime-time regular-season and postseason games on your phone or tablet
· Live game audio (home, away & national calls) for every game of the season
· NFL Films' on-demand content, ad-free
NFL+ Premium is available for $9.99/month or $79.99/year and offers all of the NFL+ features and the following:
· Full-game replays across devices (ad-free)
· Condensed game replays across devices (ad-free)
· Coaches film (ad-free)
THREE THINGS WE'LL BE WATCHING
How do running backs handle live contact in their final audition? | By Ellis Williams
Minnesota's run game popped a few chunk plays at Seattle but didn't get going early against Tennessee. How will it do against Arizona?
Alexander Mattison had a strong couple of practices against the Cardinals but is unexpected to play.
Ty Chandler has started Minnesota's first two preseason games this season and sourced some nice runs at Seattle.
Kene Nwangwu remains on the mend with an undisclosed injury and hasn't practiced since early August. Head Coach Kevin O'Connell said Wednesday there has been "no change" to his status.
Beyond Chandler, the Vikings have DeWayne McBride, Abram Smith and Aaron Dykes jockeying for opportunities.
Last week, McBride scored the team's lone touchdown, a 1-yard rush following a defensive pass interference call in the end zone. He finished with six carries for 18 yards. He also caught one pass for 11 yards. Dykes returned that game's opening kickoff 38 yards and gained 19 yards on three carries in his Vikings debut.
It's difficult to gauge how teams run the ball during joint practices because they are not tackling. Points of contact between a ball carrier and a defender are lower-intensity wrap-ups. But Saturday will bring a chance for running backs to break tackles and gain yards after contact.
Sideline coaching from emerging sources | By Lindsey Young
As we head into the Vikings third and final preseason game, I'm planning to keep an eye on Minnesota's sideline at U.S. Bank Stadium.
I first noticed while watching the broadcast of Preseason 1 at Seattle that Harrison Smith, though not playing that evening, was not only keyed into the game but also gave pointers on the sideline and whole-heartedly celebrated a flashy special teams play by rookie NaJee Thompson.
Smith isn't the only one, either. Several of Minnesota's veterans have gone into the first two exhibition contests knowing they wouldn't see the field but still taking the game – and their leadership role – seriously. I'm expecting to see the same Saturday and asked Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores about it.
"I see some future coaches out there. Just from the suggestions and coaching points, the conversation and football chatter that goes on, on the sideline between veteran players and younger players – those conversations are different than the ones I have. They're much more peer-to-peer versus, when I get over there, everyone's at attention. Sometimes — not all the time," Flores quipped. "But yeah, guys like Harry, like Jordan Hicks, like Harrison Phillips, like Josh Metellus. We try to encourage that. We certainly talked about that when we started playing preseason games. 'Hey, you veteran players, you can lend a hand or give them a tidbit here or there that will help them.'
"We've got guys who have done that, taken to that, and we think it's been really great," Flores added.
Will Nailor and Asamoah make their preseason debuts? | By Craig Peters
A pair of 2022 picks returned to action this week after being sidelined for a bit.
Receiver Jalen Nailor and linebacker Brian Asamoah II were able to take some reps with the first-team units against the Cardinals as they worked their way back.
Those, of course, were controlled settings without intentional tackling.
O'Connell and the Vikings have been looking forward to Nailor being back out because he has versatility to play all three receiver spots in the Vikings offense.
"I mean, it was hot [Wednesday]; we're having to roll guys even with the first unit, and he's playing X, Z, F, all across our personnel groupings, even after being out for quite a bit of time," O'Connell said. "You reference a guy like that being able to come back. He breaks the huddle, he knows where to go, he knows what to do, and he goes out and does it.
"Now, we just have to work him back to feeling like he can turn it loose and play fast every snap, but mentally in a great spot," O'Connell added. "Our coaches do a really good job. There's not a scenario here where even if a guy is not going to practice, he doesn't get everything he's got in the meeting room to make sure mentally we are still finding our edges leading into September 10."
O'Connell classified Asamoah, who has been dealing with a shoulder injury, as "really day-to-day in his recovery process," before noting on Wednesday that Saturday's game seemed "lightyears away to me right now."
Rookie Ivan Pace, Jr., has taken most of the reps that would have been assigned to Asamoah. If the Vikings decide to wait on Asamoah, then they could have Pace start again.