Before he was injured prior to the Vikings third preseason game, second-year S Mistral Raymond was looking like an opening day starter. After missing the final two preseason games, the coaches are not completely ready to put him in the starting lineup for the season opener against the Jaguars.
"There is a chance for it,” said coach Leslie Frazier after Monday's practice. “We're going to talk a little bit more about that as the week goes on. He did some good things, but between him and Jamarca Sanford we're going to work that out.”
Raymond returned to practice on Monday, but he still hadn't been told the position was his.
“As of right now, no one has come out and said that,” said Raymond. “But even when I was inactive, I tried to prepare like I was a starter. That's what I been told by guys who are leaders -- every day just come out and work as if you are the starter.”
Raymond played very well in the second preseason game (3 solo tackles). Then in third, his back tightened up during pre game warm-ups and no one could pinpoint exactly what the problem was.
“I knew about as much as coach Frazier knew,” said Raymond about the mysterious injury. “I didn't know what was going on. It's a weird deal. It just came out of nowhere. It came and then went back to normal. It was somethingweird like I never experienced before. I guess I am getting old.”
Throughout the preseason, Frazier has not wanted to count out Sanford in this position battle, citing his strong work ethic in camp. But the coaches have been very careful with Raymond since the injury, like they want him to play on opening day, lined up at next to rookie Harrison Smith.
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