Vikings players who need to step up in Week 10 against the Chargers

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The Vikings have more problems than solutions as the team gets set to face the Chargers this week.

At 3-5, Minnesota is in danger of falling out playoff contention with more defeats. Los Angeles is 5-3 and sits atop the AFC West. The Chargers are tied in overall record with the Raiders.

The Vikings’ depleted roster does not help things. Danielle Hunter and Patrick Peterson are both on IR. Hunter is out for the year, while Peterson will miss at least the Chargers game.

So things are not looking good. Here are some Vikings players who, if they step up in Week 10, can lift the team out of mediocrity:

CB Cameron Dantzler

Photo: AP Photo/Jason Behnken, File

The Vikings will likely start Dantzler yet again with CB Patrick Peterson on IR. Dantzler played well against the Ravens in Week 9: He earned a PFF grade of 63.8, the second-highest mark on the Vikings defense in Week 9. He also had 10 solo tackles. However, the Chargers should be a tougher test in the passing game. Dantzler needs to step up again.

S Camryn Bynum

Photo: AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Bynum had a stellar game against Baltimore. In his first NFL start, he had an interception and a PFF grade of 90, which was the highest score of any Minnesota player on defense. This week, the Vikings face a pass-happy Chargers team. Oh yeah, and Minnesota will be without Peterson and S Harrison Smith. Bynum needs another strong performance to lift up the depleted Vikings secondary.

DE Everson Griffen

Photo: Matt Blewett/USA TODAY Sports

With Hunter on IR, the Vikings need to generate a pass rush from somewhere. So why not Griffen? He had a great game generating pressure in Week 9, tallying four hurries in the contest. Given the current state of Minnesota’s secondary, the Vikings need the pass rush to pressure Chargers QB Justin Herbert into mistakes. Griffen is capable of doing that.

DE D.J. Wonnum

Photo: Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports

Wonnum had a tough break in the Ravens game. He tackled Lamar Jackson for a loss on fourth down, and Jackson fumbled the ball as he was going down. However, the officials called a horse collar tackle, which appeared to not actually be the case. Wonnum picked up the penalty and the Ravens moved the chains. Outside of that, Wonnum had two hurries. He played all right, but the Vikings young defensive end needs to show more promise in the absence of Hunter.

QB Kirk Cousins

Photo: Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports

In his last two games, Kirk Cousins has played a conservative style of football that ran counter to his early season performances. Cousins needs to go back to punishing defenses in the passing game. He needs to avoid honing in just one wideout — whether that’s Justin Jefferson or Adam Thielen. Both Thielen and Jefferson need to thrive for the Vikings offense to succeed. Cousins has to find K.J. Osborn, Dede Westbrook and others in the passing game, too.

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