This Sunday may finally be the debut we’ve been waiting for, George Iloka.
Iloka came to the Vikings halfway through the preseason after the Cincinnati Bengals released him. Many thought that since Iloka played for head coach Mike Zimmer in 2012 and 2013 that he would fit right into Zimmer’s defense and start immediately. But the last time Iloka played significant snaps on defense was against the Seattle Seahawks in the preseason. And that has left many wondering what is Zimmer’s plan for Iloka?
But, according to the Star-Tribune, that is now about to change. With Andrew Sendejo out with a groin injury Iloka is a sure fire start this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium, as Iloka has been practicing alongside Harrison Smith all week. Iloka did play seven snaps against the Philadelphia Eagles, but this will be his first official start with Minnesota this Sunday.
Iloka told Andrew Krammer on Friday what it is like to finally get the start. “Like riding a bike. I’ve been in this system and playing the same position I’ve played, for the most part, for my whole career. Obviously, [Smith] is a playmaker, so we’ll see on Sunday what it’s like to play with him.”
And since he has had five weeks to watch how the defense plays, he says he is ready to go. “It was different, but I’ve always tried to prepare the same. I’m still in my routine the way I approach the week and things like, but obviously I’ve gotten more reps because Sendejo has been out this week.”