ARLINGTON, TEXAS — Mike Zimmer will have a more complete evaluation of Gerald Hodges on Monday after watching the tape from tonight’s 28-14 win over the Cowboys. But from the sideline the Vikings coach liked what he saw from Hodges in his first career start at middle linebacker.
Hodges, who vowed to play like a starter in this opportunity, did just that. He had a team-high four tackles, including one for a loss when he knifed into the backfield to tackle Cowboys running back Joseph Randle.
“It looked like he did well to me, the things that we did,” Zimmer said. “I think he’s got the physicality. He’s fast. It seemed like we got guys lined up in the right place. I think his alignments were right. And I thought he did a good job in the passing game from what I could tell.”
Hodges hadn’t started a game at middle linebacker in his life before tonight.
“I feel really comfortable. I feel well-prepared. I felt natural at the position,” Hodges said. “So I’m just going to continue to work, continue to get better and continue to go out there and play.”
Rookie Eric Kendricks replaced Hodges in the middle when the Vikings used their sub packages. He also had four tackles, tying Hodges for the team lead.
“I think he did well. We played him a lot in sub groups. Honestly, I didn’t notice him very much,” Zimmer said. “From what I could tell, he did fine.”
Audie Cole, who appears to have fallen out of the competition to start at middle linebacker, recovered a fumble late to help secure the victory.