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Vikings reject moves at NFL trade deadline

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The NFL trade deadline passed Tuesday without a move from the Vikings. Minnesota needs help on the offensive line and in the running game. However, the Vikings have just $445,692 of salary-cap room, making any possible deal...

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - The NFL trade deadline passed Tuesday without a move from the Vikings.

Minnesota needs help on the offensive line and in the running game. However, the Vikings have just $445,692 of salary-cap room, making any possible deal difficult.

The Vikings made a big move Sept. 3 when they acquired quarterback Sam Bradford from Philadelphia for first- and fourth-round draft choices. They also signed tackle Jake Long as a free agent Oct. 11, and he got his first start in Monday's 20-10 loss at Chicago.

Since the signing of Long, Minnesota's injury-riddled offensive line has continued to struggle. Coach Mike Zimmer, however, has said the Vikings are prepared to go with the players they have.

The Vikings are averaging just 70.3 yards a game on the ground, second-worst in the NFL. Running back Adrian Peterson, though, could be back in December after needing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee in September.

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Clemmings graded low again

T.J. Clemmings moved to right tackle on Monday night, and not much went right.

The Vikings' second-year offensive lineman started the previous four games at left tackle but was moved so that Jake Long, signed as a free agent on Oct. 11, could start there in Monday's 20-10 loss at Chicago.

After the game, analytics website Pro Football Focus gave Clemmings a grade of 24.8. To put that into perspective, no NFL tackle in the past 10 years has graded that for an entire season.

Even as the Vikings won their first five games, the offensive line struggled to overcome season-ending injuries to starters Matt Kalil (hip) and Andre Smith (elbow), as well as injuries that have knocked center Brandon Fusco (concussion) and guard Alex Boone (hip, concussion) out of games.

On Monday, Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford was sacked five times, and Minnesota gained just 57 yards on 18 rushing attempts.

"We have to make improvements," Clemmings said after the game. "It didn't go our way (Monday), but there's still a lot of football left, and we still have a pretty good team."

Over the season's eight weeks, Pro Football Focus ranks Clemmings last (76th) among all NFL tackles.

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Clemmings took over at left tackle when Kalil was lost for the season after Week 2. Smith was lost in Week 4. On Monday, Boone was lost to a concussion midway through the fourth quarter.

In his first start, Long received a lackluster Pro Football Focus grade of 46.0. When asked after the game how Long looked, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said, "I don't have any idea."

Related Topics: MINNESOTA VIKINGS
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