MANKATO, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings didn't do much game-planning for the Pittsburgh Steelers, whom they'll face in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game on Sunday night. Coach Mike Zimmer typically reserves the start of the preseason to make sure the Vikings have a solid grasp of their own fundamentals before he implements a game plan for a specific opponent.
That's probably a good thing, because the Steelers aren't using many of their starters for the first of five preseason games. Coach Mike Tomlin said on Friday that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le'Veon Bell, wide receiver Antonio Brown, tight end Heath Miller, center Maurkice Pouncey and linebacker James Harrison will all sit out Sunday night.
In fact, the Steelers might be sitting out even more starters than the Vikings will. Zimmer said on Friday he wasn't sure if linebacker Anthony Barr (left knee inflammation) or defensive end Scott Crichton (sprained left ankle) would play, but it sounded as though the Vikings planned to use their starters for at least the beginning of the game.
However much they see of the Steelers' starters on Sunday, Zimmer said the Vikings will benefit from facing someone else.
"We want to look crisp, we want to look sharp and I want to see the things that we have been practicing being taken to the game field," Zimmer said. "Whether it is techniques or alignments, certain things against people that you really haven't prepared for and how they react to certain things that they're not prepared for. Obviously, it is evaluation of a lot of different players going against other players."