Monday Night Football is back with an NFC clash between the Super Bowl-favorite San Francisco 49ers and the desperate Minnesota Vikings. Unfortunately, this game opens with a discussion surrounding players who may not take the field as much as the players playing in the game.
Reportedly, the favored 49ers will be without dynamic receiving threat Deebo Samuel, which makes San Francisco’s offense a little less unpredictable. The good news for the 49ers faithful is that versatile offensive weapon Christian McCaffrey has progressed better than anticipated this week, and positive trends suggest he will suit up for tonight’s game.
The offense is less lethal for the Vikings, with all-world receiver Justin Jefferson on the sidelines on the injured reserve list. Jefferson makes Minnesota’s offense go, so the Vikings must alter their approach. Expect more run balance in this one to keep the 49ers’ explosive offense off the field.
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Who Plays on Monday Night Football Tonight?
- Teams: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
- Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Vikings enter this contest as a desperate team, attempting to scratch and claw their way to a playoff birth. Minnesota started the season slowly but has found its footing in recent weeks. However, as previously mentioned, they have far less firepower with Jefferson unable to suit up for this contest.
The Vikings must run the ball consistently to keep the 49ers’ dominant front four, led by Nick Bosa, from harassing QB Kirk Cousins. Alexander Mattison continues to lead the Vikings’ backfield, but look for Minnesota to sprinkle in Cam Akers. They want to slow this game down and keep San Francisco’s offense on the sideline.
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Speaking of the 49ers’ offense, expect head coach Kyle Shanahan to establish the run also. McCaffrey should be active for this contest, but don’t be surprised to see more of Elijah Mitchell and Jordan Mason to keep C-Mac from additional injury.
Without Samuel, QB Brock Purdy will likely lean on the downfield playmaking ability of Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle.
What Time Is Monday Night Football Tonight?
- Date: Oct. 23, 2023
- Start time: 8:15 p.m. ET
TV Channel and Live Stream for Monday Night Football
- TV channels: ABC, ESPN
- Live stream: ESPN+, Hulu+, YouTube TV
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