COMMENTARY | If there was a bright spot in the Minnesota Vikings 31-30 loss to the Chicago Bears, it's that the team left the game without any significant injuries and the squad should be at full health in Sunday's crucial contest with the Cleveland Browns.
Defensive tackle Kevin Williams made his season debut after missing opening week with a hyper-extended knee and didn't look overly impressive, although that can be said for many of the Vikings' defensive players against the Bears.
Williams did have an interception to go with one tackle and his best days may be behind him, but Williams is still an emotional leader of the Vikings' defense and somebody who is respected by his teammates. The younger players, such as 2013 first-round draft choice Sharrif Floyd, may be knocking on the door but still have a ways to go until they can equal Williams on the field.
The Vikings' offensive line hasn't been getting the job done so far this year and you have to wonder if the little nagging aches and pains are a bit worse than the team is leading on. Both starting offensive tackle Phil Loadholt and starting center John Sullivan were limited in practice during the week, but got the green light to play against the Bears.
It's no secret that the Vikings' running game has been struggling a bit in the early going. Even though Adrian Peterson is ahead of his pace from last season, the majority of his rushing yards have come on two plays and it all begins with the big guys up front.
Peterson has 193 rushing yards on 44 carries, but has runs of 78 and 36 yards. Remove those two, and Peterson has 42 carries for 79 yards. For Peterson--and the Vikings' rushing attack--to be successful, the offensive line has to be completely healthy and do a better job than they have so far.
Allen Moody is an author and sports bettor living in Nevada. A newspaper sports reporter for 12 years, he has been a fan of the Minnesota Vikings since the 1970s.
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