The safe bet is at least one backup Vikings linebacker will be called upon to start this season.

Minnesota hasn't had a linebacker start 16 games since Chad Greenway played through a fractured wrist in 2013. So while free-agent addition Emmanuel Lamur pushes to earn playing time at Greenway's spot — there's a decent chance both get playing time due to attrition caused by the brutal sport.

They've started at least five different linebackers in each of head coach Mike Zimmer's two seasons, including a rookie Edmond Robinson twice last year as Anthony Barr nursed multiple ailments.

Entering his second NFL season, Robinson is stating a case in training camp to be a top backup again as he's stood out to Zimmer at the strong-side linebacker role.

"The guy that's been impressive to me has been Edmond Robinson," Zimmer said recently. "He's a big guy that can run, he's physical, he learns, he's a good kid. I think he keeps improving all the time. I think he's got a chance to be a good football player. I think he'll show up a lot in these preseason games."

Zimmer kept tabs on Robinson during Wednesday's morning walkthrough, barking out a 'Come on, Edmond!' when the 24-year-old linebacker made a misstep against a run play.

"It was just a bad read on my part," Robinson said. "I knew, I've been there — I've done it before. He got us situated and we ran the play over and I ran it better than I did the first time."

Robinson (6-3, 245) is an example of a personnel department's belief in a coaching staff that has already molded previous underachievers like Danielle Hunter and Tom Johnson into NFL players. Robinson was taken with a seventh-round pick in 2015, which is essentially a flier after 200 some prospects had already been drafted.

Like this year's seventh-round duo of Stephen Weatherly (6-5, 265) and Jaryon Kearse (6-4, 215), Robinson was a draw not necessarily because of his college game tape. He was only a Division-II product out of Newberry College.

It was his physical tools, which include long arms (34″) and wide hands (10 1/4″), that got him to Minnesota. Now he's one Zimmer has taken a liking to through the opening stretch of training camp.

"For me, personally," Robinson said. "I need somebody to stay hard on me. And he's that type of guy to keep pushing me everyday."