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Vikings offensive line 'soft?' Alex Boone says 'we've got to play better'

Coach Mike Zimmer pulled no punches Sunday after the 21-10 loss to the Eagles. In fact, he verbally socked his Vikings offensive linemen in the gut when he said they were "soft" and got "whipped" and "overpowered."

A little bit ago, left guard Alex Boone, who was signed in March to be the tone-setter up front, was asked about what his head coach had to say.

"We've got to play better. That's the bottom line," Boone said.

But he called you guys “soft.” Did you agree with that assessment?

"I feel like we've got to play better. I think when you get your quarterback hit that many times it's a problem. So we've got to play better."

Boone acknowledged that constant injuries on the offensive line and the lack of continuity that has resulted has affected that unit's chemistry.

"We have all offseason to get guys to work together and then all of the sudden guys go down and new guys come in," he said. "It's just one of those things where you don't have a lot of time, really, to mess around. You've got to get together and make sure you are on the same page."

The Vikings two weeks ago signed offensive tackle Jake Long, who vowed today to be better after getting beat for a pair of strip-sacks against the Eagles. But Joe Thomas or Joe Staley isn't squeezing through that door. Any improvement along the offensive line will have to come from within.

"I think it's just playing better with what you have," Boone said. "I mean, what are you going to do? There's not much you can do. It's not like you're going to go down to Carl's Jr. and find somebody."

Vikings sign 3 to practice squad, including ex-Gophers defensive back Thompson

The Vikings today brought back Austin Shepherd to their practice squad, also adding former Gophers defensive back Cedric Thompson and rookie defensive lineman Sterling Bailey to the practice squad.

Shepherd was a seventh-round draft pick of the Vikings in 2015 and appeared in 14 games as a rookie. The Vikings cut the Alabama product during the preseason and he has since spent time with the Chargers and Steelers.

Thompson was a fifth-round pick of the Dolphins last year but has yet to play in an NFL game during stints in Miami and New England.

To make room for those three on the practice squad, the Vikings released quarterback Joel Stave and tight ends Brian Leonhardt and Kyle Carter.

7:30 PM, 10/31 (ESPN)
Minnesota 5-1
Chicago 1-6

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