The nation will have a chance to see a potential Super Bowl preview this preseason when the Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Minnesota to play the Vikings. The game will be the second of the preseason for both NFL teams. The game will be played Saturday, Aug. 18 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn.
The Jaguars announced, through their public relations department they will participate in two joint practices with the Vikings, much like they did last season with the New England Patriots prior to the first preseason game of the year. Having a chance to practice with Minnesota, like New England will allow Jacksonville to compete with one of the elite teams in the league.
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"“We look forward to traveling to Minnesota to work with Coach Zimmer and his team at their new state-of-the-art facility, the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center,” said Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone back in May. “Having the opportunity to practice with another conference finalist during training camp will allow us to compete with great players and coaches and continue to push ourselves. We believe that these joint sessions will provide us with an opportunity to improve as a football team, which is always the goal for training camp.”"
The Jaguars will have a chance to see Kirk Cousins for the first time with his new club. The former Washington Redskins quarterback signed a three-year, $84 million deal in the offseason.
The practices will also mean quarterback Blake Bortles will again face a tough defense during training camp other than his own. The Vikings were ranked in the top five of total defense in the league last season.
Jacksonville finished 2017 as the No. 1 passing defense and was first in points (16.8) and yards (286.1) allowed per game. Minnesota’s defense was first in yards (275.9) and points (15.8) allowed per game and second against the pass (192.4).
The Vikings and the Jaguars will showcase their two second-year running backs in Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette. The former FSU star played in only four games last season before a knee injury ending his rookie season. He was amongst the league leaders in rushing with 354 yards and two touchdowns at the time of the injury.
Fournette played in 13 games last season and rushed for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. He became the second rookie running back in team history to run for over 1,000 yards in his first season in the league.
According to the Jaguars public relations department, both practices will be open to the public. The Vikings will set a daily attendance capacity, which is expected to be approximately 5,000 fans per day.