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Fusco the key in Vikings’ surprise moves on O-Line

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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings revealed most of their new-look offensive line during OTAs this week.

Left tackle Matt Kalil and center John Sullivan were at their usual spots, and Brandon Fusco was moved from right to left guard to make room for rookie fourth-round draft pick T.J. Clemmings at right guard.

Right tackle Phil Loadholt is still recovering from a pectoral injury, so he sat while backup Mike Harris took his snaps.

Moving Fusco, the team’s second-best lineman behind Sullivan, was a surprise. But that’s how much confidence the team has in Fusco as a versatile veteran and Clemmings as one of its five best linemen.

Clemmings was rated higher than the fourth round but dropped when an old foot stress fracture was revealed that not even he knew about.

Although Clemmings never played guard, the Vikings believe that keeping him on the right side will help his transition to the NFL.

“Plus,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said, “we know that Fusco can always move back and we can plug somebody else in at left guard.”

Fusco came from Division II Slippery Rock and still acts like an unassuming guy from, well, Slippery Rock. In other words, he was fine giving up the only position he has played in the NFL to a rookie.

“It’s not really that much different,” he said. “Just a couple differences in footwork and weight distribution and stuff like that. And working with a different player. Matt’s a great player. We’re going to be great over there.”


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