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Breaking news and year-round coverage of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. Access Vikings is the Star Tribune's blog covering team news, rumors, games and all things purple.

Zimmer to test handing off play calling duties during preseason game

MANKATO — Whichever football team has employed Mike Zimmer for the past 17 seasons, he’s called their defensive plays on Sundays.

There’s still a possibility of that ending this season. The Vikings head coach says he’ll likely let defensive coordinator George Edwards call a preseason game next month to see if that frees up Zimmer to better manage games in his fourth season at the helm.

“I’ll probably have [Edwards] call one in a preseason game and see how it goes,” Zimmer said Tuesday. “I have not decided yet, no, totally for the season, but I think it’d be good practice in the preseason to see how it goes. See if it helps me help other areas of the game, so I’m kind of thinking that way.”

In three years under Zimmer, the Vikings defense has gone from one of the league’s worst to one of the best. He inherited a last-place scoring defense. They’ve since ranked 11th, fifth and sixth in points allowed each of the past three seasons.

However, Zimmer has openly discussed this offseason his thinking on how he could be a better head coach and manager on game days after the Vikings went 3-8 down the stretch last season with many close losses.

Giving Zimmer’s idea more credence was how Edwards fared in the game vs. Dallas, when Zimmer couldn’t coach due to emergency eye surgery. The Vikings lost, but limited the potent Cowboys to 264 yards and 17 points. Edwards last called plays full-time as the Bills defensive coordinator in 2011.

The Vikings’ first preseason game is Aug. 10 in Buffalo.

Vikings single-game tickets on sale Thursday

The Vikings announced Tuesday that a limited number of single-game tickets for the 2017 season will go on sale on Thursday at 10 a.m. Central Time.

The tickets start as low as $30, but they won’t be easy to get: You’ll need to purchase them online only through Ticketmaster. Tickets won’t be available at the box office or at Ticketmaster outlets.

Here’s the 2017 regular season home schedule:

Sunday, August 27: San Francisco 49ers, 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 31: Miami Dolphins, 7:00 p.m.
Monday, September 11: New Orleans Saints, 6:10 p.m.
Sunday, September 24: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Noon
Sunday, October 1: Detroit Lions, Noon
Sunday, October 15: Green Bay Packers, Noon*
Sunday, October 22: Baltimore Ravens, Noon*
Sunday, November 19: Los Angeles Rams, Noon*
Sunday, December 17: Cincinnati Bengals, Noon*
Sunday, December 31: Chicago Bears, Noon*

* Game times subject to change due to NFL’s Flexible Scheduling.

The even tougher buy is for season tickets. According to the Vikings, 99 percent of season tickets were renewed. There is currently a season ticket waiting list. Fans can call 612-338-4537 for more information on that.

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