Defensive tackle Shamar Stephen will make his preseason debut during Saturday afternoon’s “dress rehearsal” against the Cardinals.
Stephen was not among the eight Vikings players officially listed as not expected to play. Only the injured were listed, however it’s likely head coach Mike Zimmer rests some of his stars, too.
Nose tackle Linval Joseph (shoulder), right tackle Brian O’Neill (arm), tackle Aviante Collins (leg), receiver Jeff Badet (undisclosed) and defensive end Ade Aruna (undisclosed) will not play. Neither will two players on PUP — cornerback Mike Hughes (knee) and tight end David Morgan — and defensive end Tashawn Bower (Achilles), who remains on the non-football injury list.
O’Neill has been sidelined since injuring his elbow Aug. 5 in practice. Zimmer defined the injury as “short-term” afterward, but it’s been three weeks since O’Neill practiced in full.
We’ll see whether running back Dalvin Cook, the only healthy player yet to play this preseason, will get any snaps. Zimmer has been cautious with Cook, holding him out of exhibitions and turf practices.
Receiver Adam Thielen and safety Harrison Smith, who was held out of practice Thursday, were not among Vikings players suited up before the game. Both may be rested for this exhibition.
Stephen, a 2014 seventh-round pick by Minnesota, will see game action for the first time since returning to the Vikings on a three-year deal in March. He’s eased back since returning from an undisclosed injury on Aug. 2.