When the Vikings open their three-day full-squad minicamp, one position VU will be keeping an eye on is linebacker. There are expected to be a lot of changes from last year and those changes will be evident this weekend.
The most significant change will be new starter Chris Claiborne, who will be given free reign on the outside. On the other side, what promises to be a strong training camp battle will pit second-year man Raonall Smith and veteran Henri Crockett -- both fighting for the starting job. In the middle, Greg Biekert is still the man, but second-rounder E.J. Henderson will begin his fight for playing time.
As it stands, Crockett and Biekert remain atop the depth chart at their respective positions and, when the Vikings go to a two-LB set in nickel situations, Biekert and Claiborne are currently the two LBs on the field. Look for that to change, with Smith or Henderson replacing Biekert.
To that mix you add several other young linebackers and this could be the most hotly contested position during this weekend's minicamp and training camp -- when the fight for survival really begins.
* With the exception of Smith, who will be given Friday off to take a final exam at Washington State, all players not allocated to NFL Europe are expected to attend minicamp.
* DL Willie Howard has been cleared medically to practice. If, however, he actually sees on-field time in minicamp or beyond is yet to be seen.
The Calm Before the Storm
Viking Update Top Stories
Thielen seeks respect, hopes to stayReceiver Adam Thielen has seen an increased role in each of his four years with the Minnesota Vikings and would like to see that continue well into the future. He discussed the…
Viking Update1:54 PM
Johnson: Bridgewater ‘coming along well’Receiver Charles Johnson has talked with Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater and says he is “coming along well” in his rehab, along with offering a few other insights.
Viking Update7:36 AM
Scott Turner signs with MichiganMichigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has ruffled feathers since arriving in Ann Arbor. His hiring of Scott Turner may be the latest preemptive move.
Viking Update4:06 AM
Combine Research: Receivers (Part 1)Who showed he was recovered from a broken leg with a four-touchdown game? Which teammates were born in Liberia and Sierre Leone? Who set the NCAA yardage record? Those answers and…
Packer ReportYesterday at 8:16 PM