There’s Another Battle on the Vikings Offensive Line

Vikings Part Ways with LB Coach
Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Minnesota Vikings helmet before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been known for a couple days now that there is an open competition at the Vikings center position, and there’s even a chance that Minnesota brings an outside player in to compete. However, it appears that another battle has emerged on the interior of the Vikings offensive line. That position is the other spot that has been notoriously bad in recent years: right guard.

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This competition became evident on Thursday when Ed Ingram took all the first-team snaps in practice. Ingram had practiced with the starters in the past, but it was almost exclusively to days when Jesse Davis took a “veteran’s day” to rehab his lingering knee injury. That wasn’t the case this time around as Davis practiced with the backups.

The Vikings selected Ingram out of LSU in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft as Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s third draft pick. This came on the heels of a 2021 season where Oli Udoh, a natural tackle, and Mason Cole split time at the position. Neither of them performed especially well, causing the motivation to find a replacement.

The signing of Jesse Davis seemed like an indication that Ingram needed more development before taking over as the starter, and perhaps that indeed was the case when Davis was brought in. However, with the way things are trending it would seem like Ingram will be the starter when the regular season opens up, barring any complications this preseason.

This is huge for a Vikings organization that, if you remember, just selected Wyatt Davis in the third round of the 2021 draft. After a difficult summer, Davis never took snaps with the offense in 2021 and has been almost unheard from during this training camp. It seems like a lock that he will not make this roster nor the practice squad.

Finally, Ingram’s emergence is important because it allows the Vikings to take advantage of Jesse Davis’ most valuable trait: versatility. He has experience at both guard and tackle, so if an injury were to occur, the Vikings have a guy that can fill in. If Ingram holds down the right guard position, that makes Davis available to bounce around the Vikings offensive line as needed.

For all these reasons from past draft hiccups to current roster needs, Ingram’s emergence as a potential long-term right guard is huge for the Vikings. Minnesota has their first preseason game this weekend, so we’ll see how he holds up against the Raiders.