View images from the first night game at U.S. Bank Stadium as the Vikings took on the Rams.
MINNEAPOLIS —It is crystal clear that Rick Spielman does not have a crystal ball to peer into the future.
Neither does the internet.
Spielman spoke with beat writers before the Vikings hosted the Rams Thursday night in the preseason finale for both teams. Spielman said that Minnesota's personnel department and coaching staff have watched 14 hours of film on quarterbacks that might become available when all teams reduce their rosters from 75 to 53 by 3 p.m. Saturday.
He said the Vikings have the "utmost confidence" in Shaun Hill to replace Teddy Bridgewater, who was lost for the season on Tuesday when he suffered a dislocated knee early during a practice. Minnesota opens the regular season at Tennessee on Sept. 11.
"I don't think any of our coaches or staff in the building believe that Shaun can't get us where we want to go, and our expectations are the same," Spielman said. "But we will look, just like we have every preseason, at every position when the waiver wire comes."
Spielman said the Vikings can look at:
1) a "veteran-type guy"
2) a "young guy that potentially comes off the wire"
3) at "trades for potentially a veteran guy"
4) at "trades for maybe a young guy that we think maybe we liked in the draft that might develop"
Spielman said all options are open, but then clarified that he won't mortgage the future of the franchise.
"The one thing that I will not do, and I promise you this, is put our organization in a position where it's going to inhibit us or hurt us going into the future," Spielman said. "By that, I mean that people are asking for some crazy things.
"People think that you are desperate," Spielman continued, "and we're not going to do something that, in my estimation and talking with [Head Coach Mike Zimmer] and our ownership, that puts us in a situation where we jeopardize the future of this franchise."
Spielman has found a little time to survey the internet and see a few suggestions and rumors swirling around about what the Vikings might do at quarterback.
"I read some of this stuff, and a lot of it is kind of fantasy football," Spielman said. "No one takes into account the salary that guy potentially may have and how it affects your salary cap, how that affects your roster.
"We're not giving up any of these young, talented players that we have, I can tell you that right now," Spielman added. "We work too hard, our coaches and our scouts to build this thing, and to go out and draft guys and develop guys to just give them away for a guy that may come in here and be here for seven months, and that young guy is going to be a significant player for us for years to come."
Bridgewater stopped by Winter Park on Thursday to discuss his recovery process from the season-ending knee dislocation he suffered at Tuesday's practice, an injury that Spielman said had a likelihood of less than one percent in an update on the quarterback's condition.
The third-year quarterback also released a statement conveying his conviction to return to action.
Hill did not play in Thursday's preseason finale when the Vikings started undrafted rookie Joel Stave.
Brad Sorensen, who was released before Bridgewater's injury and re-signed Wednesday, relieved Stave in the second quarter.
"I don't know what those options are. I don't know what teams are going to do," Spielman said. "I know if teams, like I said, would potentially trade a guy or who they're going to cut, but I know we're prepared as we've ever been, or like we always have been, that when someone comes off the wire, just like we did last year, we traded for [offensive lineman Jeremiah] Sirles, and then you don't know what happens during the season.
"There's a lot of things that happen on a daily basis in this league and you have to be very flexible and move around, do what you have to do, to put together the best 53-man roster you can," Spielman added.
Another factor to keep in mind, Spielman said, is the position isn't one where plug-and-play yields immediate gratification.
"It's hard enough finding a quarterback as you go through an offseason, as you get prepared for the draft," Spielman said. "We're in a situation that we're trying to find potentially another quarterback in 48 hours, and then how many teams, and I'm trying to put a realistic picture on this, are going to give up a significant quarterback? They don't fall out of a tree, and if you have one, you sure aren't going to give one up, and if you have a young one that you think is going to be the future, you're not going to give that up either."
Spielman said, although the Vikings have lost their starting quarterback, they won't lost their resolve.
"It is what it is, and you make the best of the situation and you move forward, but I know this coaching staff, and especially Zim', when he has his back against the wall," Spielman said. "I know our players, the one thing we really tried to bring in is guys that are passionate and that are fighters. I have no doubt that this team is going to respond, and our expectations have not changed one bit."