EAGAN, Minn. (KMSP) - On Saturday night, the Vikings finally hit the field for their first preseason game of 2018. Unfortunately, they are already dealing with injury issues in one critical area.
The Vikings have yet to play a preseason game and already they're dealing with injuries up front to members of the offensive line. Pat Elflein, Nick Easton and Mike Remmers are all on the shelf with injuries so the o-line unit is going to be tested early this preseason.
But, the players say they're up to the challenge.
The injuries are starting to pile up on the Vikings offensive line, but despite missing three key pieces, the players aren't panicking. In fact, they say it's time for them to step up.
"We're a unit; no matter what happens, we got each other's backs and it's next man up mentality, so that's the way we've always been and that's how we always going to be," said Aviante Collins, Vikings OT.
Any notion that the group will struggle is quickly shrugged aside by members of the o-line. The message is simple: no excuses, just do your job.
“It don't matter whoever we put in there, we expect them to play so we’re all a unit, we're all a team in the o-line room. So when one goes down, whoever goes down, whatever we all contribute to each other, we all check on each other and we step up as a team," said Rashod Hill, Vikings OT.
“O-line, we pride ourselves on eating together, going out together, doing things together with each other's families because like I said, we're a family and the closer you are, the better you play together so we pride ourselves on that," Collins said.
The Vikings made a large financial investment in Kirk Cousins, and that investment will need the best protection. How the line holds up against Denver remains to be seen, but no matter who's on the field, the objective remains the same: protect the QB at all cost.
“We hold high standards in that room; we try to hold ourselves to a high standard and we one-down and we try to pick each other up…so we’re always going to fight until the end," Hill said.