The penultimate game of the NFL preseason is usually a dress rehearsal, with starters playing the first half.
But when the Vikings play at Dallas on Saturday night, coach Mike Zimmer says he won’t be thinking traditionally.
“I’ve never done it that way,” Zimmer said. “We really don’t game plan for it. … It’s still about us, and doing what we do and seeing if we can do it good against a team that we really haven’t studied much or anything like that.”
Because the Vikings played in the Hall of Fame game, they have five preseason games, and this will be their fourth.
The Vikings will have to cut to 75 players on Tuesday.
“We’ll start thinking about that more Sunday after the game,” Zimmer said. “[There's a] possibility of injuries, there are other reasons too — we’ve got to play another game, injuries, things like that.”
Defensive tackle Shamar Stephen, a second-year player who had an arthroscopic knee procedure earlier this month, was back at practice today in a limited capacity. Stephen should be ready for the start of the regular season, Zimmer said.
“He’s missed an awful lot of time,” Zimmer said. “He was really coming on, with some of the things he did early. But we’ll have to wait and see where he is when he comes back.”
Finally, Zimmer on his angry reaction after kicker Blair Walsh missed three field goals and an extra point last Saturday night in a 20-12 victory over Oakland: “Sometimes I get upset and I say some things to some players who aren’t doing what I want them to do. I think everyone who plays for us has a job to do, and we expect them to do that, whether it’s the kicker or the quarterback or the middle linebacker, we’re going to let him know when we’re not pleased. Sometimes it’s good to get a little pressure put on by the coach.”