The Seattle Seahawks are expected to flex their muscle and bring a host of starters into the fold when they face the Vikings in Minneapolis on Sunday night.
Seattle rested more than 10 starters in their 22-14 win over the Denver Broncos on Thursday, with Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, Chris Carson, Jaron Brown, Duane Brown, D.J. Fluker, Bradley McDougald, K.J. Wright and Jarran Reed among those missing out.
Wilson’s absence was particularly significant as the quarterback had never missed the Seahawks’ first preseason game since he was drafted in 2012.
The 30-year-old, however, will be getting some snaps this weekend against the Seahawks’ NFC rivals.
“We’ll get them some reps,” offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer told Pro Football Focuson Tuesday. “Depends on a lot of things, how the first series goes, second series.
“We don’t know yet, we haven’t talked about that yet. Get them out there, play a very familiar opponent, a good opponent. We played them late in the year in the last year, so they’re always a great challenge and all that. Get those guys in and I guess it’s going to be nice to hit somebody else for this group.”
Unlike the Seahawks, the Vikings fielded their starting quarterback in their first preseason game, with Kirk Cousins completing one series in a 34-25 win against the New Orleans Saints on Friday.
The game was Minnesota’s first under new offense coordinator Kevin Stefanski and Cousins was impressed with what he saw.
“To be able to rotate that many different players in at so many different positions throughout four quarters and continue to have sustained success moving the football, I think it does say a lot about Kevin’s play calling and about the system and about the execution,” he was quoted as saying by The Associated Press. “So many guys got involved in the game and made plays.”
The Minnesota Vikings host the Seattle Seahawks at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the stage of Super Bowl LII.
Kick-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 18.
The game will be nationally broadcast by FOX.
A live stream will be available via FOX online and on its digital platforms, as well as via fuboTV.
Kirk Cousins played just a single series against the New Orleans Saints and was flawless throughout, completing all of his four attempted passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Two of his backups, Sean Mannion and Kyle Sloter, also threw a touchdown pass each, with Mannion finishing seven-for-13 for 103 yards and Sloter completing six of his seven passes for 65 yards.
Tyler Conklin was the pick of the receivers, with 56 yards over two receptions, while Mike Boone rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown over just four carries, including a 64-yard run.
Seattle also had a good look at its backup quarterbacks, with Paxton Lynch outperforming Geno Smith in the race to be Russel Wilson’s understudy. Lynch finished 11-for-15 for 109 passing yards and one touchdown, adding 38 rushing yards and a score.
Meanwhile, Smith completed just three of his nine passes for a meager 58 yards and will now be out for at least a week as he undergoes surgery to remove a cyst on his knee.
According to Oddschecker, the Vikings are a four-point favorite and are 91/100 to win and cover the spread, while the Seahawks are 8/5 to win and the over/under bar for points scored is set at 42.