There have been some legitimate questions about the offensive line for the Minnesota Vikings heading in to the season, and we still don’t have full clarity as we head towards week one. Although starting C Pat Elflein has come off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, he isn’t expected to be ready to play in the opener, so when the Vikes traded with the New York Giants for Brett Jones and cutdowns came and went, the thought was that he would be the guy to hold down the fort until Elf...wait for it...came off the shelf.
Boom, I’m here all week.
Anyway, the consensus was Jones would be the center, and Tom Compton would probably be the left guard in the short term. When Elflein comes back the hope would be he takes over starting center duties and Jones would slide over to LG.
Yesterday, that was kind of thrown for a loop when NFL Network and insider Brian Baldinger reported that Danny Isisdora would start at center this Sunday. That seemed really odd, since Isidora only started at center one time in his life...and that was last Thursday in the Vikings preseason finale against Tennessee.
In Isidora’s defense, he looked good...but playing in a fourth preseason game against many guys who are no longer in the NFL is a lot different than week one of the regular season. Baldy’s report was actually given some reinforcement yesterday when Mike Zimmer described Isidora as ‘a natural’ at the position, although he was non-committal on who the starter would be.
Today though, QB Kirk Cousins...I know I know, ‘sources’ and all that...seemed to refute the Baldinger report and tweet by maybe tipping the hand of who the starter at center is:
Kirk Cousins: Not ideal taking snaps from a new center in Week 1, but trying to build a rapport with Brett Jones ahead of Sunday. “He’s going to have to play center in the NFL like he’s done for games already.”— Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) September 5, 2018
And by ‘maybe tipping the hand’, I mean ‘telling us who the starting center is going to be’. I think it makes perfect sense that it will be Jones, which means Compton probably gets the start at LG, like most of us originally thought.
So unless this is the greatest set of NFL center subterfuge in history, it looks like Brett Jones is the starting C on Sunday.
And so ends The Great Center War with nary a shot, and it paled in comparison to The Great QB Wars.
And as fun as a starting center controversy might have been, I say let us have Peace In Our Time.