The Vikings offensive line took another hit on Friday morning with the news that RG Geoff Schwartz was sent back to the Twin Cities to check out an abdominal strain he suffered on Thursday.
Coach Leslie Frazier said that Schwartz complained of not being to turn a certain way and the pain limited the adjustments he could make when turning in that direction.
“As an offensive lineman, we wanted him to turn in either direction with ease,” said Frazier. “He's having trouble doing that so we wanted to get it checked and find out what's going on.”
Frazier said Schwartz will have a number of tests run to find the exact problem because he is coming off a season missed with a hip injury. The team wants to make sure it is not related to his hip surgery of a year ago.
Schwartz is embroiled in a battle for the right guard position with second-year man Brandon Fusco, and the competition has been stiff with both players alternately taking 1st team reps.
“It's a battle,” said Fusco. “We're both competing pretty hard and both want it really bad. But I just have to not worry about the old competition thing and do my job, and come out with a good attitude every day to give my best.”
The injury to Schwartz comes at a time when the offensive line is already thin. OL DeMarcus Love has been out with a shoulder injury much of the week and OL Pat Brown suffered a grade 1 MCL sprain on Thursday. Frazier said the team would be bringing in other linemen to work out to possibly fill out the depleted unit.
As a result, Fusco took 1st and 2nd team reps in a Friday morning walk through, and for now, he will have an opportunity to show exactly what he can do and build some chemistry with his other linemates.