Here is what Eric Smith, Lindsey Young and Craig Peters of Vikings.com will be watching in Week 6:
Who steps up in the passing game? | By @Eric_L_Smith
All eyes were on the Vikings passing attack this week in terms of both personnel and scheme.
Justin Jefferson (ankle) and Adam Thielen (foot) did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, but both were limited and did enough work in Friday’s ssession to not have an injury designation for Sunday’s game.
Vikings Offensive Coordinator Klint Kubiak said Thursday that the trio of K.J. Osborn, Dede Westbrook and rookie Ihmir Smith-Marsette each got value practice reps this week.
“Yeah, great opportunity for them when guys are not practicing, to showcase themselves, and they’ve done a great job,” Kubiak said. “Obviously, we know K.J.’s had a heck of a season. Dede has made plays when his number is called.
“So those guys continue to develop,” Kubiak added, “and I can’t say enough about Keenan McCardell, how he works with them on the side and keeps bringing them along, because we’re going to need everybody for this season.”
With Jefferson and Thielen seemingly dinged up, one of those three aforementioned receivers could take on a larger role against the Panthers. Tyler Conklin and the tight ends could also play a bigger role, too.
Fans will also be watching to see if the Vikings open up the offense a bit, as that unit has been shut out of the end zone in the second half of the past four games.