Zimmer hints at playing Vikings' starters tonight

The fourth week of the preseason is upon us.

Typically a showcase for fringe players and deep-wilderness reserves, the Vikings are pondering a starting lineup that will look closer to the cast of characters set to take the field against the Saints in Week 1.

Coach Mike Zimmer hinted this week that he's toying with the idea of playing his starters on the heels of a troubling preseason -- especially on offense.

"I've made up my mind, but I haven't told the team yet or anything like that. I haven't told the coaches yet either," Zimmer said, per The Star Tribune. "After the other night, I feel like they should play, but we'll see."

It's been an August of horrors for the Vikings, whose sputtering offense has churned out just three points over 12 marches.

The team's troubles crested against the 49ers on Sunday, as San Francisco's nasty young defensive front battered Minnesota's offensive line and made life nightmarish for quarterback Sam Bradford.

This Vikings team still needs work, so why not? If the starters play, you won't see them for long, but one thing's for clear: They haven't earned a week off.

UPDATE: Mike Zimmer told NFL Network's Tom Pelissero that he won't play the starters after all. "I'm not going to do it, but I am tempted and I told the team I was tempted. It's a better opportunity for these young players (to show) that they belong in the NFL and on this football team," he said.

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