One of the main talking points this week in NFL circles will be the state of the Vikings, who are en route to a second straight loss after running out to a dominant 5-0 start. The center of such discussions will be on their offensive line.
An already-substandard unit just lost well-paid guard Alex Boone late in Monday night’s game the Bears won 20-10. Boone is being looked at for a concussion, Lisa Salters of ESPN.com reports.
The football-watching world is getting another look at what’s been one of the NFL’s worst blocking outfits this season. Chicago has five sacks on Sam Bradford, rocketing the Vikings down the ladder in terms of sacks ceded. Minnesota’s allowed 19 this season, jumping from No. 22 in the league to No. 7. Of course, the Vikings have already had their bye, so this puts them as the worst sacks-per-game unit in the league since everyone in front of them in total sacks yielded has yet to have a bye.
Minnesota lost tackle Phil Loadholt to preseason retirement, and Matt Kalil and Andre Smith are on injured reserve. The rest of a group that helped Adrian Peterson win a rushing title has been the team’s biggest liability one day before the trade deadline. Minnesota has been linked to Joe Thomas and Joe Staley but does not have enough salary cap room as it stands now to fit either’s contract in under their cap without the Browns or 49ers being able to pick up a sizable portion of the deal.
Boone came over from the 49ers in the offseason, joining a line that’s down to Joe Berger and Brandon Fusco among cogs from 2015 who are starting for this current group. He’s started all seven games for the Vikes this season and has been a starter since 2012. Needless to say, the Vikings don’t have much depth behind Boone if he’s forced to miss time.