The Vikings could be considering a switch at right guard but certainly aren’t being up front about it.
Joe Berger, who filled in for injured center John Sullivan in last week’s loss to the Bills, confirmed what we have seen in practice this week: that Berger has gotten some reps with the first team. And it’s not just because Vlad Ducasse is dealing with a knee injury. He practiced yesterday and today.
But asked what his role might be Sunday against the Buccaneers, the veteran lineman played coy.
“I may or may not know that,” said Berger, who has been a member of the Vikings since signing as a free agent back in 2011. “If you guys don’t know that, I’m going to let the coach tell you guys that.”
Head coach Mike Zimmer wasn’t giving anything up either. Asked if we could see Berger start at some point, Zimmer, responded, “I don’t know. We’ll see. Vlad practiced today, so we’ll see.” That wasn’t exactly an endorsement for Ducasse, who has started at right guard since Week 4.
Pressed for praise, Zimmer obliged with Berger, the backup at all three interior spots.
“He’s a smart guy,” Zimmer said after practice. “He’s been doing everything that he’s supposed to do. He’s been able to play multiple positions and he [brings] good chemistry in the room.”
Berger also feels he has good chemistry with his fellow linemen and that it would be advantageous.
“I would hope so,” he said. “I have been with these guys, with Sully and Charlie [Johnson] and Phil [Loadholt]. I haven’t played with them a whole lot, but I’ve been in the room with them for four years. I would like to think that with that time we would understand each other a little bit.”
As Berger said that, Sullivan, who was sitting at the next locker over, emphatically nodded his head.