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Matt Cassel to play full first half Saturday for Vikings?

Matt Cassel emerged from the Minnesota Vikings' preseason opener as the clear front-runner for the starting quarterback job.

Coach Mike Zimmer has already stated that Cassel will start versus the Cardinalsin the second preseason game.

Now it appears that Cassel has the opportunity to put more distance between himself and rookie Teddy Bridgewater.

Zimmer said Thursday that there is a chance Cassel will play the entire first half on Saturday.

Reading between the lines, Bridgewater's head is spinning while adjusting to all of the pre- and post-snap responsibilities required of an NFL quarterback.

"I just want him to play," Zimmer said of Bridgewater, via the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "He's got so much going on in his mind right now, I just want him to play."

Zimmer has a date in mind to announce his Week 1 starter, but he's not ready to reveal it. Unless Bridgewater shows drastic improvement, it will be Cassel under center when the season kicks off.

*The latest "Around the League Podcast" broke down the biggest position battles and ranked the best backup QBs in the league. *

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