Given the circumstances that took place Tuesday afternoon on the Minnesota Vikings practice field at Winter Park that will sideline Teddy Bridgewater for the 2016 season at a minimum, the key matchup in the preseason finale will be the quarterback position, where the Vikings need to address several questions before heading into the regular season.
The biggest question is whether the Vikings are going to risk 36-year old veteran Shaun Hill to play at all against the Rams. More than likely, given the current situation, there is little to no chance that is going to happen.
If not for a leg injury to Taylor Heinicke, Stave may not have even been on the Vikings roster right now. He may have found himself in the position Sorensen did Monday when he was informed by the team that he had been released. The Vikings seemed content with the trio of Bridgewater, Hill and Heinicke heading into the 2016 season, but, as things stand today, Hill is the only one of the three left standing and, as always happens in the NFL, opportunity is what a player needs to hang around a 53-man roster or a practice squad.
The Vikings have had Stave on the roster since after the 2016 draft, so he is more of a known commodity in which coaches see promise. Sorenson, a seventh-round pick in 2013 by San Diego Chargers who spent two stints in San Diego and part of 2014 with Tennessee in between, was signed Aug. 20 by the Vikings to be available to play in last Sunday’s game if needed. He was released Tuesday morning as part of the Vikings’ cut-down to 75 players. Now he has been brought back and is the mix to prove himself on the field Thursday night.
With the Vikings organization still in flux at the position – at age 36, there has to be a legitimate concern within the organization as to whether Hill can withstand the punishment delivered to quarterbacks for a full 16 games. There is a strong likelihood that the Vikings are going to acquire a veteran quarterback to come in to serve as the No. 2 quarterback once the regular season begins.
For the preseason finale, however, both Stave and Sorensen will find themselves in the regional spotlight. There is likely room for only one of them on the roster – they might both be gone if a veteran is acquired – and Stave clearly has the edge considering he survived the cuts down to 75 players.
But Sorensen and Stave will both be under the microscope Thursday with a last chance to make a significant impression, making their battle this week’s heartbreaking matchup to watch.