Friday, December 15, 2017

david morgan

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VIKINGS

OUT

RT Mike Remmers (low back)

  • Remmers rode a stationary bike during Thursday’s practice but did not participate in practice all week. He is out of Sunday’s matchup against the Panthers.

TE David Morgan (concussion) was limited in practice Thursday but did not practice Friday. He is listed as out.

C Pat Elflein (shoulder) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

UPDATE: Elflein is OUT today.

  • If Elflein is unable to go, the Vikings would likely to move right guard Joe Berger to center and Jeremiah Sirles would fill Berger’s role at right guard. Another option would be to move left guard Nick Easton to center and have Sirles or Danny Isidora fill in at left guard.
  • UPDATE: according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press Easton will start at center with Sirles starting at left guard.

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Minnesota Vikings 14, Atlanta Falcons 9

The Vikings did what they set out to do Sunday. Not only did Minnesota win the third-down battle, the defense made the Falcons offense one-dimensional, the secondary shut down Julio Jones and the Purple came away with their eighth straight victory at Atlanta.

Quarterback Case Keenum started slowly but again finished the game strong, completing all 13 pass attempts of the second half, including his last 15 passes of the game. Keenum went 25 of 30 (83.3%) for 227 yards with two touchdowns. He had a QBR of 57.3 and a passer rating of 120.4.

The Vikings offensive line gave up two sacks but paved the way for another positive showing by Minnesota’s offense.

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TEDDY OR CASE: Who should start?

It’s the hottest debate surrounding the Vikings right now.

The points are clear on both sides of aisle.

One side argues, “Keenum is just as good as Teddy ever was,” “He’s basically 5-2 and has won four games in a row,” “Case gets the job done so roll with him,” and “the Vikings have chemistry so don’t mess with it.”

The other side argues, “Teddy has a higher ceiling and can win us a Super Bowl,” “Bridgewater was an average starter in 2015 but has better pieces around him now,” and “You need to make a decision on him for next year, so start him now and see what you have.”

It’s a very interesting debate. Both sides make valid points. Plus, it seems like everyone has an opinion.

Whatever your opinion may be, Keenum and Bridgewater are similar quarterbacks. They both make smart decisions, take care of the ball, extend plays with their feet, and make plays through the air. Even their Pro Football Focus grades are similar.

So, what really sets them apart?

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Wow, what a fun day! Lots of action. With roster cuts already in progress, here’s a last-minute Vikings 53-man roster projection, which includes Friday’s trade for cornerback Tramaine Brock:

Quarterback
  • Sam Bradford
  • Case Keenum
  • Teddy Bridgewater (PUP)

The Vikings rolled with two quarterbacks last year and I don’t see that changing this year. Taylor Heinicke is practice squad eligible and I don’t see teams lining up to snag him off waivers. Plus, there’s always Mitch Leidner.

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Bucky Hodges on the Rise

Historically, the Minnesota Vikings have lacked a one-two punch at tight end. The last time the Vikings had two tight ends catch more than 30 passes in a season was in 2013, when Kyle Rudolph missed eight games due to injury. That season, Rudolph had 30 catches and John Carlson had 32. Before that, the last occurrence was in 2002, when Jimmy Kleinsasser had 37 receptions and Byron Chamberlain had 34.

Fast forward to 2016. Starting tight end Rudolph enjoyed a breakout season, catching 83 passes for 840 yards and seven touchdowns. But Rhett Ellison, the team’s number two tight end, caught only nine passes.

This offseason, after Ellison signed with the New York Giants, the Vikings attempted to add another weapon to their tight end arsenal. Free agent Jared Cook, known for his downfield pass-catching skills, came to Minnesota for a visit, but he ultimately joined the Oakland Raiders.

Enter rookie Bucky Hodges. The raw-but-talented receiver that plays tight end may be just the player the Vikings have been searching for. Realistically, it’s too early to predict a 30-plus catch season for Hodges in 2017, but if he can make strides developing his technique, the sky is the limit for the 22 year-old.

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