LAS VEGAS — The Vikings opted to keep many of their prominent offensive and defensive starters out of their first preseason game, sitting 13 players against the Raiders on Sunday.

Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen did not play in the 26-20 loss, while the Vikings held out five starters on defense: cornerback Patrick Peterson, safety Harrison Smith, linebacker Eric Kendricks and edge rushers Danielle Hunter and Za'Darius Smith.

The Vikings had already planned to be without quarterback Kirk Cousins because of COVID-19 and tight end Irv Smith Jr. after right thumb surgery. Guard Chris Reed, wide receiver Thomas Hennigan and defensive end Jullian Taylor also sat out for injury-related reasons.

They chose to play their entire starting offensive and defensive lines, with a new group on the defensive front and Jesse Davis in the middle of a right guard battle with rookie Ed Ingram.

"We wanted to get those groups some snaps together: getting off the ball, communication up front, different front structures than we see, different run game than sometimes we present to our defense," coach Kevin O'Connell said. "It was a really good chance to get those guys some snaps, but still being smart."

Will the Vikings play more of their starters in their only home preseason game against the 49ers on Saturday night?

"We're going to see how these practices go [on Wednesday and Thursday] against the Niners," O'Connell said. "We've got two really good scheduled days of work against a really good football team. We'll go about our business to give those guys good plans. And then, whoever plays or doesn't play, regardless, we're going to go out and try to win those football games."

Chandler 'a real bright spot' in debut

Fifth-round pick Ty Chandler continued to build on a strong start to training camp on Sunday, rushing for 50 yards on five carries and taking his only kick return back 56 yards after he bounced off a tackle at the Vikings' 19.

"I thought across the board, Ty was pretty decisive in the run game," O'Connell said. "And then obviously, that kick return really got us going on that drive that ended in a touchdown. ... He ran with the type of physicality that sometimes you don't get to see in practice. You know it's there, you know the vision's there. He was a real bright spot for me tonight, for sure."

The Vikings' second-team line — Oli Udoh at left tackle, Austin Schlottmann at center, Ingram at right guard and Blake Brandel at right tackle, with a rotation of players at left guard — opened up plenty of space for Chandler in the second quarter, but the North Carolina product coaxed additional yards out of his ability to keep his balance after contact.

Second-year man Kene Nwangwu added seven carries for 41 yards, after Chandler and he took over for Alexander Mattison.

"We've got a lot of great guys in the running back room," Chandler said. "I just enjoy being in there and getting a chance to learn from those guys."

Chisena has lower leg injury

Wide receiver Dan Chisena, who'd been dealing with a lower leg injury before the Vikings' preseason opener, sustained a similar injury on Sunday, O'Connell said.

Chisena appeared to favor his right leg after his 22-yard fourth-down catch in the third quarter, asking for a substitute after he walked back from making the catch along the Vikings' sideline.

O'Connell debuts against his former coach

When O'Connell was a rookie with the Patriots in 2008, his first position coach was Josh McDaniels, in his final year as New England's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach before he became the Broncos' head coach.

McDaniels started his second head coaching stint with the Raiders on Sunday; for O'Connell, the matchup became a reunion.

"It was exciting for me," O'Connell said. "Obviously, Josh McDaniels on the other sideline [is] a mentor of mine. Getting to catch up with him a little bit after the game was special. Obviously, we would have loved to win the game and give him a loss, but as far this opportunity and the many others that will come this year, I never take it for granted."