Last Sunday, in a loss to the Carolina Panthers, the Minnesota Vikings offensive line was reeling. They went into the contest down two starters, C Pat Elflein and RT Mike Remmers. During the course of the game, they lost LT Riley Reiff, and as a result, QB Case Keenum ended up being sacked six times, a season high.
It appears that some key parts are returning, though. In a press conference that ended just a short time ago, Mike Zimmer was optimistic about Remmers and Elflein coming back this week to face Cincinnati, and hopeful about Reiff:
Zimmer expects Elflein and Remmers to be back this week and a possibility of Reiff as well.— J.R. (@JReidDraftScout) December 13, 2017
But it also appears that the Vikings are preparing Rashod Hill to play left tackle this week just in case, although Reiff’s condition has certainly improved since Sunday, when he left Carolina wearing a walking boot:
Riley Reiff walking through locker room without a boot. Vikings practice at 1.— Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) December 13, 2017
Vikings are readying Rashod Hill to play left tackle this week, he says. That was his first position at So. Miss.— Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) December 13, 2017
Could be just a contingency with Reiff nursing ankle injury. Practice will paint a clearer picture.— Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) December 13, 2017
If you’ll remember, Hill played most of the pre-season with the first team offense while Reiff was dealing with a minor injury, and played fairly well. And he’s done a decent job in a couple relief stints for Reiff during the regular season as well, amassing an overall 51.3 PFF grade on 450 snaps.
However it shakes out, getting Remmers and especially Elflein back is huge for the Vikings offense. They struggled mightily with three new players on the line against the Panthers, and a healthy to mostly healthy offensive line, at home, against a struggling Cincinnati Bengals team could be the just what the doctor ordered after a mistake prone and disappointing loss on the road last week.