The Christian Darrisaw era is getting underway.
The Vikings will start the rookie first-round pick on Sunday against the Panthers, according to two league sources, after he debuted at left tackle behind Rashod Hill last week vs. Detroit. It's unclear if there will still be a playing time split between Darrisaw and Hill, but the rookie will get his first start with the Vikings at Bank of America Stadium.
Hill, the sixth-year veteran, started the first five games as Darrisaw recovered from a lingering core muscle injury that required two surgeries to repair. Darrisaw has appeared in two games since the latest operation, Aug. 12, but was limited to special teams work in the first outing and a rotational role in last week's 19-17 win vs. the Lions.
Darrisaw drew strong reviews from coaches after his first 28 snaps with the Vikings offense, which for him was a long time coming. His last reps as a college tackle had been 10 months and two surgeries ago.
"It was no worries," Darrisaw said Friday. "I trust the trainers here, and the support staff and Dr. [William] Meyers and everything like that. We had a plan and I knew that every day I would come and attack it. There was light at the end of the tunnel. Now we're here and ready to go."
Darrisaw, the Maryland native and Virginia Tech product, will have a cheering section in Charlotte for what figures to be the biggest day yet of his NFL career.
"I've got a few family members coming down for the Carolina game," Darrisaw said. "Baltimore will probably be the most popular. That's where I'm from. But I have a few family coming down to Carolina."