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Lunch Break, 5/18: The New Starter at Left Guard?

It's been known that the Vikings will be replacing former left guard Charlie Johnson, who started all 61 games he played in four seasons with the Vikings (14 last season), this fall.

Star Tribune's Sid Hartman caught up with Head Coach Mike Zimmer to see how that process is going and reported that Minnesota may make multiple shifts on the line.

Hartman quoted Zimmer:

*"We are looking at a few guys right now. Obviously Joe Berger has a chance to fit in with the mix. We have actually been looking at Brandon Fusco moving over to left guard and T.J. Clemmings playing right guard. Also the kid [tackle] Carter [Bykowski] that we took off of San Francisco's practice squad has looked good as well." *

Berger, a versatile veteran capable of playing all three interior offensive line spots, started the final nine games of 2014 at right guard. The Vikings made it a priority to re-sign Berger this season, but might his most significant value be as the swing-guy on game days who also plays special teams? If Berger moves into the starting lineup, coaches will be looking for another player capable of playing all three interior o-line positions to help with game-day roster limitations of 45 players.

Fusco has started 34 of the 37 games he's played and signed a contract extension prior to last season but suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Week 3. Right tackle Phil Loadholt suffered a similar injury in Week 11.

"Fusco is pretty much up to full speed," Zimmer told Hartman. "Loadholt is not quite there, but he's getting closer."

Clemmings played right tackle for two seasons for the University of Pittsburgh and was drafted in the fourth round. Minnesota also drafted former Oklahoma tackle Tyrus Thompson in the sixth round and former Alabama tackle Austin Shepherd in the seventh.

The Vikings signed Bykowski, an Eden Prairie native, off the 49ers practice squad last December, but he was inactive the final three games.

Vladimir Ducasse, who started four games in place of Fusco and two games in Johnson's absence, signed with the Bears in free agency.

Quick Hitters:

Over the weekend, Star Tribune's Rochelle Olson wrote about the planned implementation of technology* *to increase fan experiences at the new Vikings stadium.

Viking Update's Tim Yotter on 2015 fifth-round pick Stefon Diggs watching former Vikings receiver Percy Harvin. Diggs told Yotter:

"I like Percy as a receiver. He's probably one of the best receivers I ever seen on tape and watched play," Diggs said after his first full day at Vikings rookie minicamp last weekend. "At the end of the day, I'm me. I love him as a receiver; I love a lot of guys as a receiver. They do a lot of great things, but just try to do what I can."

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