The NFL season is inching closer. Through July, Shutdown Corner will examine three big questions for each NFL team as it heads to training camp.
Report date: July 23 for rookies; July 26 for veterans
Where: Mankato, Minn.
1. Will we see Teddy Bridgewater this camp?
Bridgewater will likely start camp on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list after a horrific knee injury just before last season started. Bridgewater has done some work through the offseason, giving hope that he can be back on the practice field sooner rather than later. It would be a tremendous story after he missed all of last season. This is an important season for the Vikings and their quarterback situation, because Bridgewater and new starter Sam Bradford are both slated to be free agents after the season. Minnesota could make a clearer decision if they can see Bridgewater back on the practice field, at least.
2. Can Dalvin Cook lock up the starting job by Week 1?
The Vikings brought in two running backs to replace Adrian Peterson and help a running game that went nowhere last season. They signed former Oakland Raiders starter Latavius Murray, then took Cook in the second round of the draft. Cook was a tremendous college back at Florida State but didn’t test well at the combine and has some off-field concerns. That’s what caused his draft dip, but he’s still a fantastic talent. Murray is slowed by ankle surgery and will start camp on the PUP list. That gives Cook a great opportunity in training camp to secure the starting job from Week 1 on. Murray has more experience and has had NFL success, but Cook offers a much higher ceiling. If Cook ends up being the undisputed starter by the season opener, he might never relinquish the job.
3. Where have you gone, Laquon Treadwell?
Not every rookie receiver is Odell Beckham, but Treadwell was really disappointing after Minnesota took him in the first round last season. He played in just nine games (he was a healthy scratch a few times) and had one catch all season. The Vikings didn’t need Treadwell last season because they got good production from Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Also, coach Mike Zimmer doesn’t love using rookies. That’s fine, but if Treadwell doesn’t do anything this season then there’s real concern. Zimmer has had very positive things to say about Treadwell this offseason, perhaps building his confidence back up after a rough rookie year. Treadwell needs a good camp, so the coaches and Sam Bradford trust him when the regular season starts.
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