The annual training camp tradition has arrived: freaking out over meaningless depth charts.
Every year clubs release their initial depth charts during camp, leading to a host of questions, raised eyebrows and, in some cases, outrage from the fan base.
Every year it's seemingly forgotten that most of these depth charts come with little -- if any -- input from coaching staffs. In most cases, the PR department puts together the list. Categorically there is a deference to veteran players.
Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell offered a pervasive warning against taking too much from these depth charts considering the full slate of preseason action hasn't even started yet, and position battles are just beginning.
"We're very much right into the competition part of training camp," O'Connell said Monday, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "I would not overevaluate one particular area. We have a lot of jobs guys are still fighting for, and we're going to allow for our practices, joint practices [with the Titans and Cardinals] and preseason games to play out before we make any final determinations."
Case-in-point on the Vikings' first depth chart, running back Kene Nwangwu -- who has participated sparingly in camp due to injury -- is listed as No. 2 behind starter Alexander Mattison over Ty Chandler, who reportedly has looked good during camp.
"That backup spot is still really fully in the competition," O'Connell said of the backup RB gig. "I will tell you that sheet of paper. We are not making any decisions at this point.
"I really want to see those guys get a full body of work before we determine overall what that position looks like. Ty has been really looking solid running the football and showing those instincts you saw last year in the preseason that we're excited about, and he continues to grow from an understanding of protection."
When you hear anything about a club's "depth chart" in early August, take it with a quarry full of salt. At best, they're living documents with daily shifts. At worst, they're uninformed roster lists organized by positions.