Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Monthly Archives: August 2013

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Kevin Williams took a cheap, low block from Niners guard Joe Looney on Sunday evening and things looked really bad for him as he laid on the turf.  Then they looked a lot better as he left the field under his own power and reportedly told teammates he was fine.

On Monday, after an MRI, the news was somewhere in the middle.

Williams hyperextended and bruised his right knee during the game, or more accurately Joe Looney hyperextended his knee on a cheap shot, and his availability for the season opener is now in question.  The good news, however, is that the injury will not require surgery and Williams should not be out of action for long.

Still, following a minor knee surgery to Sharrif Floyd and Christian Ballard’s bizarre departure from the team, the team cannot afford to take many more hits to the middle of their defensive line.  This will certainly be a situation to monitor as the season opener in Detroit draws nearer.

By the way, the injury occurred on what was really a B.S. cheap shot from Niners guard Joe Looney.

According to John Holler of Viking Update, the Vikings have two roster exemptions that allowed them to only cut 13 players today, which gets them down to their 75 player limit by tomorrow’s deadline.  Holler says the exemptions came as a result of Jerome Felton’s suspension and Christian Ballard being placed on the “left team” list.  I’m confused as to why the Vikings don’t have an exemption for DeMarcus Love’s suspension, but that stuff will clear itself up soon.

So, the Vikings made 13 cuts today, and I have to admit I was surprised by a few of them.  Here is a look at the cuts along with some quick analysis.

QB James Vandenberg:  The undrafted rookie was clearly a step or five behind McLeod Bethel-Thompson and so there was little reason to have the undrafted Vandenberg take any snaps in the preseason finale.

RB Bradley Randle and RB Jerodis Williams:  This one stings.  I was really hoping the Vikings would finally have a firecracker scat back at their disposal, and was impressed with Randle’s special teams abilities.  I hope they can sneak him through to the practice squad.  Williams failed to really show up or climb the depth chart in any way.

WR Lamark Brown and WR Erik Highsmith and WR Chris Summers:  I have to think the Vikings are planning on keeping six wide outs this year.  Just a hunch.  Based on these two cuts I think the competition is truly between Joe Webb, Stephen Burton, and Rodney Smith.  Adam Thielen has survived the first round of cuts, however, and could be a dark horse to keep an eye on after an impressive training camp.

G Tyler Holmes and C Camden Wentz:  I’m not 100% sure that any of our offensive line deserves to make this team after three weeks of preseason, and these two were no exceptions.  Failed to shine in a sea of mediocrity (at best), so nothing is surprising here.

DE Lawrence Jackson and DE Marquis Jackson:  Lawrence Jackson is the surprise here, at least to me, as I thought he was a quality low-risk signing this offseason.  To see him cut in the first round is pretty shocking actually, but is again a vote of confidence in D’Aundre Reed who seems to be a coaches favorite that never dresses on game day.

LB Stanford Keglar:  I thought he was already cut a few weeks back.  Shows what I know… and why he’s being cut.

DB Roderick Williams and DB Greg McCoy:  Williams had a little bit of support from some of the fanbase, but there was no way he was making this roster, even if the first five corners on the depth chart got injured.  He and McCoy could both be interesting practice squad possibilities, though.

 

 

Remember how Jerome Felton’s DUI charges from last offseason just seemed to disappear?

Well, they’re back.

Felton eventually pleaded guilty to careless driving, a reduced charge, but that was his second offense which lands him in hotter water with the NFL.  Today, it was announced that Felton will be suspended for the first three games of the regular season.

Felton’s recent surgery meant he was sitting for the remainder of the preseason already, so now we know we won’t get Adrian Peterson’s lead blocker back until week four. 

The good news for Felton is that he already cashed in on last year’s Pro Bowl season by signing a three-year deal this offseason which will pay him $2.5 million in guarantees this year.  The good news for the Vikings is that this suspension is not the result of a new incident involving Felton.

If Felton’s suspension (and DeMarcus Love’s for that matter), come with roster exemptions then the Vikings will be able to store some “bubble” players on the active roster for an extended look until their veterans return.  In Love’s case, he may not return at all.

While it is unclear if Rhett Ellison will take over as the starting fullback, it certainly doesn’t hurt Zach Line’s chances of being on the opening day roster.  Line has two receiving touchdowns this preseason and has impressed overall.

For an offense that desperately needs a kick start, however, the news that Peterson’s trusted lead will miss three games is not welcomed.

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There are a ton of interesting storylines and position battles that hang in the balance of tonight’s preseason game.  Oh, and the Vikings are playing football.  That is why we are hosting a live chat tonight for discussion with fellow Vikings fans throughout all of the action.

You can CLICK HERE to join in on the conversation.

We’ll plan on getting started just before kickoff, but the new chat room is open 24/7 so feel free to join in whenever you like.

I’ll bring the lutefisk!

With two preseason games down, and two to go, I found myself considering a number of changes to my prediction of who would make the Vikings final 53-man roster.  The last time I wrote a prediction was just before the open of training camp and quite a bit has happened since then.  The players that made my previous cut, but no longer do, are marked with a strike.  The players that are new to my list are bolded.

Quarterback: Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, McLeod Bethel-Thompson

Analysis:  No changes here.  MBT solidified his spot above Vandenberg with a solid performance last week, while Vandenberg didn’t even see the field.  Bill Musgrave recently made some comments about Joe Webb that have me considering only two quarterbacks making the roster, leaving Webb as a last resort, but I think that approach would be too unorthodox.

Running Back: Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart, Bradley Randle

Analysis:  That third running back spot is still a mystery because there are a few players, including Zach Line and Joe Banyard, that are making cases for themselves.  Still, I feel like Randle provides the Vikings with the most upside and some serious special teams value.  Randle is penciled in very lightly at this point, though.

Fullback: Jerome Felton

Analysis:  Felton’s recent surgery has many assuming Zach Line will be on the opening day roster, but he is expected to ready by week one and Rhett Ellison acts as a quality backup at the position.  I just don’t see the Vikings dedicating two spots to fullbacks.

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