49ers vs Vikings: The Minnesota Vikings will face off with their fellow neighbor, the San Francisco 49ers, in the annual MetLife Bowl on Sunday night. Last preseason, it was the getting the victory by a score of 32-31.
49ers vs Vikings Game: The San Francisco 49ers kickoff the 2018 season with a road game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. The game gets going at 10 a.m. PT on FOX with Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis calling the game from the booth, and Pam Oliver handling sideline duties. This marks the beginning of year two of the Kyle Shanahan/John Lynch era, and more importantly, is the first full season of Jimmy Garoppolo in place as the team’s starting quarterback.
The San Francisco 49ers will be without Dekoda Watson and Reuben Foster, and likely Malcolm Smith, but they face a Minnesota Vikings team that will be shorthanded as well in Week 1.
The Vikings’ offensive line has been ravaged by injuries, and they confirmed on Friday that center Pat Elflein will not play. He was ruled out with ankle and shoulder issues, and Brett Jones will start n his place. They will also be short-handed in tackle depth, with reserve Aviante Collins also ruled out.
On defense, their secondary will be missing nickel back Mackensie Alexander. That means rookie Mike Hughes will get the nod, according to Daily Norseman. Xavier Rhodes is listed as questionable, and was a full participant in Friday’s practice. He starts opposite Trae Waynes, and if he can’t go, Hughes, Marcus Sherels, and Holton Hill would all find themselves with even more playing time.
The 49ers have a tough road ahead of them, but the Vikings offensive line injuries in particular could provide an opening. The team already lost Nick Easton during training camp, replaced by Tom Compton at left guard. Brett Jones has 12 career starts at center dating back to 2015. The interior of the Vikings offensive line is where the 49ers can potentially find an advantage. The key on defense for the 49ers will be the defensive tackles, particularly on passing downs. If they don’t take advantage of this situation, it could be a long day.