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Vikings end pre-season unbeaten

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MINNEAPOLIS—Never mind Jared Goff’s status as the first overall pick in the draft for L.A.

For now, with a lot left to learn, he’s the third-stringer.

Goff’s first start of the pre-season for the Rams featured two turnovers and one touchdown as the Minnesota reserve running backs led a 27-25 victory by the Vikings last night.

Playing the whole first half, Goff finished 6-for-16 for 67 yards.

But coach Jeff Fisher said he’d lean toward Sean Mannion as the primary back-up quarterback behind starter Case Keenum.

Goff capped the first drive with deft touch on a one-yard scoring pass to Kenny Britt, but ugliness ensued.

The Rams punted on the next four possessions. Then Goff dropped a shotgun snap for a fumble at his nine-yard line—setting up the second field goal for the Vikings by Blair Walsh.

A minute later, Justin Trattou tripped Goff’s pass at the line and defensive tackle Toby Johnson made a diving interception at the 28.

Jhurell Pressley turned a short throw by Brad Sorensen into a 28-yard touchdown reception on the next play.

Pressley also returned a kickoff 106 yards for a score while C.J. Ham carried 15 times for 59 yards and a touchdown.

With Adrian Peterson, Jerick McKinnon, and Matt Asiata well-established as the running backs, there’s no room for the undrafted rookies Pressley (New Mexico) or Ham (Division II Augustana in South Dakota).

But they each made a strong case for the practice squad or another team.

After losing Teddy Bridgewater for the season to a major knee injury just two days ago, the Vikings kept new starting quarterback Shaun Hill safely on the sideline.

Undrafted rookie Joel Stave went 9-for-18 for 76 yards and left with what the team called a hand injury.

Sorensen took over for the rest of the game. But with Taylor Heinicke still on the non-football injury list, Stave might have landed a roster spot.

“I thought he managed the games good. I thought he threw the ball well,” said Vikings’ coach Mike Zimmer.

The Vikings, who went 4-0 during the pre-season, open the regular season Sept. 11 at Tennessee.

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