Preseason: Vikings vs. Titans
Game 4: 7 p.m. today • Mall of America Field at Metrodome • tv: ch. 11 (100.3-FM, 1130 AM)
About the Titans
The eagerly awaited showdown between star running backs Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson … ain’t happening tonight. Neither will play. … Since 2008, Johnson has 6,888 rushing yards, second in the NFL over that time to Peterson’s 7,508. Johnson told the Tennessean: “I’m sure every year I want to have the rushing title and I know that’s somebody I have to go through him to get it, and I am sure he knows he has to go through somebody.” … QB Jake Locker and backup Ryan Fitzpatrick might see some action for the Titans, but most of the snaps will go to No. 3 Rusty Smith, a fourth-year pro. … Like the Vikings, the Titans think they have a strong group of WRs this season with Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright, Nate Washington, Damian Williams and rookie Justin Hunter. And Michael Preston has a team-leading eight catches for 144 yards in the preseason. … Tennessee is 1-2 after a 27-16 victory over the Falcons. … Britt (knee), RB Shonn Green (ankle), Wright (knee), FB Quinn Johnson (hamstring) and DT Sammie Hill (elbow) are among the players sitting out tonight.
About the Vikings
Coach Leslie Frazier said few starters will play tonight. … The Vikings are 0-3 in the preseason, with losses to Houston, Buffalo and San Francisco. … The roster must be cut to 53 by Saturday. It’s likely most of the decisions have been made, but Frazier hinted tonight’s game was crucial for a select few players. … Matt Cassel and McLeod Bethel-Thompson likely will be the quarterbacks. … Concerns for the Vikings include depth at defensive tackle with Kevin Williams (knee) and Christian Ballard (personal reasons) out of the lineup. … Key player to watch is LB Desmond Bishop, who was hampered by injury early in the preseason. … A battle for the fifth WR position between Joe Webb and Stephen Burton is another one to keep an eye on. … RB Toby Gerhart has 17 carries for 50 yards in a preseason where Peterson will not carry the ball once. … S Mistral Raymond (shoulder), CB Chris Cook (groin) and MLB Erin Henderson (heel) aren’t likely to play much, if at all.