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Rashod Hill’s Early Career Experience Helpful Against Cam Jordan

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The hand-wringing began early in Mankato.

Left tackle Riley Reiff, who was a priority signing for the Vikings in free agency, suffered an injury on the opening day of training camp.

In stepped Rashod Hill, whom the Vikings signed late in 2016 off Jacksonville’s practice squad.

Hill played in the 2016 regular-season finale, making his NFL debut on Jan. 1, 2017. He tried to make the most of that and every rep in Reiff’s absence.

Reiff bounced back and started 15 games this season, but Hill was asked to bookend the other end of the line for six consecutive games because of injuries to Mike Remmers, another priority free agent addition.

Hill started for Reiff against Cincinnati on the day that the Vikings clinched the NFC North. After left guard Nick Easton suffered a fractured ankle against the Packers, and with center Pat Elflein out against the Bears, Hill started at right tackle.

The Vikings moved right guard Joe Berger to center, Remmers to right guard and Jeremiah Sirles started at left guard in the 2017 finale.

On Sunday, Minnesota lined up Reiff at left tackle, Remmers at left guard, Elflein at center, Berger at right guard and Hill at right tackle. 

On the game’s final play — the 61-yard walk-off touchdown pass from Case Keenum to Stefon Diggs — the offensive line gave Keenum time and a clean window.

Former NFL offensive lineman Brian Baldinger broke down the protection in this video:

Hill was tasked with blocking Cam Jordan, a First-Team All-Pro, and had late help on the play from Berger.

Keenum found Diggs for the winner, and a ruckus ensued. In addition to the screams of teammates and more than 66,000 fans, Hill heard encouraging words from Jordan.

“Cameron Jordan asked me what year this was, and I said, ‘It ain’t nothing but my second year,’ ” Hill said. “He was like, ‘Man, you’re a solid player.’ And I’m like, ‘Man, you gave me a full 60 minutes of it.’ That’s what I told him after the game…

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