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Vikings Start Shaun Hill in Season Opener

The Vikings went with a familiar face at quarterback in their season opener as they chose to start veteran Shaun Hill against the Tennessee Titans.

Hill served as Teddy Bridgewater's backup in 2015, throwing just seven passes in game action. Bridgewater was lost for the season on Aug. 30 with a knee injury.

The 36-year-old Hill started Minnesota's second preseason game in Seattle, completing 10 of 17 passes for 129 yards as the Vikings led 11-0 at the half.

"It helps that this is my second year in this system; it helps that I've played with these guys," Hill said Wednesday. "I got the start late before the game in Seattle, so that helps to have that experience and play with those guys then, too. My confidence will be there for sure." 

The Vikings traded for quarterback Sam Bradford four days after Bridgewater's injury but opted to start to Hill, who is entering his 15th season in the NFL and second in the system.

Hill first entered the NFL with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2002. Minnesota became the fourth team he's started a game for, but the gap from when he first arrived in Minnesota and his first start lasted 5,257 days.

Hill and Bradford split first-team reps in practice this week as Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said he wasn't going to name a starter. Hill said Wednesday that he was preparing as if he were going to start against Tennessee.

"I keep the same approach no matter what," Hill said. "So that's just the way I've had to approach this league my whole career.

"In life, for the most part, I've been a backup quarterback in this league, and life as a backup is, there's no warning," he added. "You have to be ready, and you're going in the blink of an eye. So, that's always had to be my approach."

Hill made his 35th career start and first with the Vikings. He's also started for the 49ers, Lions and Rams, and has 8,053 career passing yards and 49 career touchdowns.

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