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Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


270204211

Cassel will start Saturday; Blanton returns; Robinson injury testing coach's patience

Posted by: Mark Craig Updated August 18th at 4:30pm 271702971

The full body of offseason evidence and logic screams that the quarterback competition is over. Yet we continue to ask Vikings coach Mike Zimmer for the official declaration or some sort of cloud of smoke to tell us the Matt Cassel will start on Sept. 7 at St. Louis.

Zimmer just met with reporters and said he’s not ready to name the starter for the regular season opener. But he did say Cassel will start the third preseason game on Saturday at Kansas City. He also said it’s possible that rookie Teddy Bridgewater will see action with the first unit, which is something that didn’t happen this past Saturday against the Cardinals.

In injury news

  •  Zimmer said safety Robert Blanton will practice today. It’s his first practice since pulling a hamstring in the fourth practice of camp.
  • Cornerback Shaun Prater (head injury) won’t practice today but is expected to practice Tuesday.
  • Cornerback Jabari Price, who has an injury Zimmer wouldn’t reveal, is expected to miss Saturday’s game.
  • Linebacker Gerald Hodges (knee) won’t practice today and will not play on Saturday.
  • Nose tackle Linval Joseph (calf) will do some rehab work today, but is not expected to play on Saturday. He hasn’t practiced since suffering what was described as a minor gunshot wound as an innocent bystander during an incident at a downtown nightclub after the preseason opener.
  • And, finally, judging by Zimmer’s tone, it might be a good idea for cornerback Josh Robinson (hamstring) to get back on the field pronto. When asked when Blanton and Robinson would return to practice, Zimmer said, “Blanton will go today. The other guy, who knows.”

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