Minnesota Vikings who need big games against Kansas City Chiefs

Many Vikings players could use big games against the Chiefs to boost their confidence or just to get on the right track ahead of the season.

But for the players on this list, the stakes are higher. Vikings Wire has compiled a list of players who must have a good preseason game or they might consider a small roster role or a place on the practice squad.

Note: players who were not in training on Wednesday are not included in this list. That said, if Dru Samia and James Lynch end up making the Chiefs game, they should be playing really well.

Here is the list :

The Minnesota Vikings take on Blake Brandel during NFL football team training camp Friday August 21, 2020 in Eagan, Minnesota (AP Photo / Jim Mone)

Brandel had a strong performance against the Broncos, but struggled in the next preseason game against the Colts. Brandel gave up five presses to finish with a PFF score of 39.4. However, he could still win the swing tackle spot with a big game against Kansas City.

Minnesota Vikings tight end Zach Davidson (40) tries to break through a tackle from Indianapolis Colts defensive back Andre Chachere (36) during the second half of an NFL football game on Saturday 21 August 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo / Bruce Kluckhohn)

Davidson has struggled with drops this preseason. He finished the Indianapolis game with an overall PFF score of 38.4. Upon graduation from college, he was considered a raw talent. He might be too raw to make one of the tightest points on the list activates this offseason. He has to show promise against Kansas City or else he could watch the practice squad.

Minnesota Vikings offensive goaltender Dakota Dozier (78) in action in the second quarter during an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, December 20, 2020, in Minneapolis. The Bears defeated the Vikings 33-27. (AP Photo / David Berding)

Dozier played well against the Colts. He may have put himself in the position of being on the active list. He just finished a 2020 season where he struggled as a starter. He had a very inconsistent game against the Broncos in Game 1 of the preseason, but a good game against the Chiefs could help him earn a reserve role.

August 21, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond (11) throws past Indianapolis Colts defensive end Isaac Rochell (91) during the third quarter at US Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes Mond looked worse in the Colts game than in the Broncos preseason game. He has to play against the Chiefs or else the Vikings could go in a different direction for the backup quarterback. I don’t think Mond is in danger of missing the 53-man roster, mainly because he would be a great player to poach the practice squad, seeing him as a draft quarterback. Still, the Vikings might not put him in a position to see the pitch in 2021. He has to go up against Kansas City.

August 14, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States; Denver Broncos defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (99) is held as Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jake Browning (3) struggles in the first quarter at US Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Someone has to earn the backup quarterback spot. Browning has a shot at making it against Kansas City. He’s struggled in both preseason games so far, but if he has led goals against the Chiefs, he could be on track to support Cousins. However, Browning putting together another inconsistent performance could prompt the team to look for a backup quarterback elsewhere.

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Kenny Willekes (79) sits on the sidelines during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Denver Broncos on Saturday, August 14, 2021, in Minneapolis. The Broncos won 33-6. (AP Photo / Bruce Kluckhohn)

Like Dozier, Willekes had a great game against the Colts. The defensive end counted three pressures. But also like Dozier, Willekes may have to string together another good performance to make the squad. Willekes has shown flashes of promise, but he is competing in a crowded defensive line room, especially with the Vikings who recently signed Everson Griffen. He must make his case to stay on the active roster Friday in Kansas City.

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