The Minnesota Vikings have started Audie Cole at middle linebacker each of the last two preseason games. Head coach Mike Zimmer has decided to switch things up for Saturday's matchup with the Dallas Cowboys, but that doesn't mean second-round rookie Eric Kendricks is finally getting his shot to start.
Zimmer said third-year pro Gerald Hodges will start at middle linebacker, according to ESPN's Ben Goessling. Kendricks will come off the bench to play in the nickel package.
"He's looked good," Zimmer said of Hodges, per ESPN. "The first week, it was more learning, because it's different alignments (than playing outside linebacker). He wasn't perfect with all that stuff. But when he's played, he's done good."
Hodges, 24, was selected in the fourth-round of the 2013 NFL Draft. The Penn State product played in 14 games last season (seven starts) and recorded 66 tackles, a half-sack and seven pass defenses, including an acrobatic pick-six against the New York Jets in Week 14.