The preseason officially wrapped up Thursday night.
The roster will be trimmed to 53 by Saturday afternoon, and the Vikings will turn their attention toward next Sunday’s season opener against the Falcons.
What can be expected for Minnesota’s 2019 campaign?
Forbes’ Steve Silverman recently posted a Vikings season preview, including in that a “best-case” and “worst-case” scenario for the team. Of course, the best-case scenario would be Minnesota playing in Super Bowl LIV, and he detailed how he could see that happening. Silverman wrote:
The Vikings get off to a sharp start and win their opening three games of the season, setting up a Week 4 meeting with the defending NFC North champion Chicago Bears. The Vikings came out on the wrong end of both meetings against Chicago last year, but if the offensive line passes this test and [Kirk] Cousins can find [Adam] Thielen and [Stefon] Diggs with a couple of big plays, that could propel this team to the heights.
If the Vikings establish their dominance in the division, there is no reason why they can’t come through with a first-round playoff bye and go on to win the NFC title. The Vikings have not been to the Super Bowl since they lost to the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XI. There’s no reason why this can’t be the year that they make a return.
According to Silverman, a worst-case scenario could occur if the Vikings fall in division games early, emphasizing the importance starting the season strong.
Coller highlights ‘players who stood out’ in preseason 4
Following each Vikings preseason game, SKOR North’s Matthew Coller put together a “10 players who stood out” article.
In the wake of Minnesota’s fourth preseason game, Coller highlighted a number of offensive players, starting with wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, whom he opined is battling with Brandon Zylstra for the WR5 spot (Coller believes Chad Beebe and Bisi Johnson will be in the third and fourth spots).
Coller also pointed to another solid performance by running back Mike Boone and to a pair of young tight ends in Cole Hikutini and Brandon Dillon. He wrote the following of Dillon:
In the battle for practice squad jobs, Dillon has put his name on the map. He caught three passes for 40 yards and had a touchdown pass negated by a holding penalty in the first half. The Marian University product was mentioned by Mike Zimmer early in camp as a young player who stood out.
Conversely, Coller said there’s an “outside chance the Vikings keep four tight ends,” and if they do, Hikutini “didn’t do anything to talk them out of it” against the Bills.
He grabbed four passes for 45 yards. One pass that could have been a huge gain was just outside of his grasp. The Vikings kept Hikutini on the practice squad last year, so it’s clear they have some interest in him.
Treadwell plays with heavy heart after passing of grandmother
Treadwell, who made three catches for 30 yards at Buffalo, played with a heavy heart after the passing of his grandmother, Judy Young, Monday.
Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press spoke with Treadwell after the game.
“I got the news right after practice,” Treadwell told Tomasson. “We have just been talking a lot [as a family], staying strong, just trying to be positive about everything and think about the good things about her.”
Treadwell said he was very close to Young, who helped raise him in suburban Chicago. He said she … died from “organ failure, kidney failure.”
Treadwell had said after an Aug. 18 preseason game against Seattle his grandmother had been told by doctors she had “90 days to live,” and he was planning to visit her Aug. 19. Minnesota’s practice schedule ended up being too tight for that to happen, so he rescheduled the visit for a day off the team had last Sunday.
Treadwell has been in the mix of receivers vying for roster spots but told Tomasson that he’s not worrying about roster cuts that will happen Saturday.
“I have no worries. I’m like Lion King. Hakuna matata,” Treadwell told Tomasson.
Vikings [Head Coach] Mike Zimmer wouldn’t speculate on Treadwell’s chances to earn a roster spot. Although he has been going against second-team players, Zimmer did speak well of Treadwell’s showing Thursday and the four catches for 47 yards he had against the Seahawks.
Treadwell […] said the death of his grandmother has played a role in him not getting too worked up about whether he will make the team.
“It does put things in perspective,” he said. “Just be grateful for the people you’re around right now.”