Since the day the Vikings 2016 schedule was released on April 14th, players and coaches and staff have anticipated opening up U.S. Bank Stadium against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football.
A few days before the gates are officially opened for the regular season, Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer addressed the media for the last time before the game.
Zimmer did not disclose who will start at quarterback for his team against the divisional opponent.
He did say one thing about his quarterbacks. Both Kyle Rudolph and Shaun Hill are ready to play if called upon.
"Yea (Sam Bradford) could," Zimmer said. "He could. Shaun's ready, too."
Sam Bradford arrived in Minnesota on Saturday, Sept. 3.
The Vikings dealt a first-round pick and a conditional pick to the Eagles for Bradford four days after losing Stefon Diggs for the season.
In less than two weeks, Zimmer feels confident that the hours Bradford has spent studying the Vikings playbook with offensive coordinator Norv Turner and quarterbacks coach Scott Turner has prepared him for Week 2.
"All I know is he comes in pretty early in the morning and stays late," Zimmer said. "He's worked enough to get ready."
Here are a few other notable points from Zimmer's session at the podium:
Danielle Hunter, Xavier Rhodes out on Sunday
Zimmer confirmed that both starting cornerback Xavier Rhodes and starting defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd are listed as out for Sunday's game. T Riley Reiff practiced on Friday after being listed on this week's injury report.
The Vikings have released their full injury report.
Three-man rotation at defensive tackle
Minnesota has proved to have depth on the defensive line while dealing with injuries.
With Floyd not playing this weekend, Zimmer said that the Vikings would go with a three-man rotation for the two spots in the middle of the pass rush.
Shamar Stephen, Linval Joseph and Tom Johnson will rotate depending on the Packers personnel on offense.
Johnson compiled 5.5 sacks for Minnesota in 16 games in 2015, filling in as a starter when his teammates were injured. Zimmer said the six-year veteran is ready for this week.
"(Johnson) didn't play that many [snaps] last week," Zimmer said. "We actually had a three-man rotation in there with Shamar Stephen, Linval [Joseph] and Tom Johnson, so we'll continue to do that."
Stephen, who missed all of 2015 due to injury, started in Nashville.
"He's doing good," Zimmer said. "He's getting better as a pass rusher. He plays the run good. We missed him being out there last year."
Festivities at U.S. Bank Stadium
The Vikings have a lot planned at U.S. Bank Stadium for the fans to enjoy on Sunday night.
Zimmer was asked how he felt about the festivities.
"I haven't really thought that much about it," Zimmer said. "I'm kind of a routine guy. We just deal with it and go on."
In the Vikings two preseason games, Zimmer's post-game press conferences were open to be viewed by the fans present in U.S. Bank Stadium's Delta Sky360 Club. The head coach was asked if that would be the case in the regular season.
"I think it's a no-go, from what I understand. I don't know. *(Reporter: Win, lose or draw?) *Win, lose or draw."
Vikings rookie receiver Laquon Treadwell didn't play in Week 1.
Each practice of the offseason through the regular season Treadwell is one of the last Vikings to leave the practice field and Zimmer is taking notice.
"You know I've talked to him throughout the week about some of the things I want him to improve on," Zimmer said. "I think he's worked real hard at it, I talked to him today about some things. He's going to be a good player in my estimation. He's going to be a good player, so when he does get his opportunity, I think he'll do good.
"He's got to catch the ball," Zimmer added. "He's got to understand all the routes and combinations and adjustments off of those things. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time, but I have confidence in him."