Saturday, May 23, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "George Johnson"

George Johnson

Chase Baker, George Johnson and Troy Kropog were long shots to make the roster just four weeks ago, but hard work and consistent effort paid off for these young players.

 Chase Baker might have the best chance to stick. The undrafted rookie from Boise State had 11 tackles during preseason working on the inside of the defensive line. Standing at 6-1 298 pounds, Baker has just enough meat on his bones to earn a few snaps as a backup rotational depth player this season. During camp and preseason, he has been asked to learn the three-technique position while also staying focused on the nose tackle spot as well. Jared Allen said, “He has probably grown the most of all the young guys I’ve seen in camp. That is good because he just might be asked to play a role on this team. We’re hurting at D-tackle right now.” 

Lady luck has been on Baker’s side as Christian Ballard left the team for personal reasons, Sheriff Floyd and Kevin Williams have been banged up a bit which opened the door for Baker to get plenty of reps needed to win a roster spot. After spending his rookie year on the practice squad, Baker might be ready to take the next step in 2013.

George Johnson, the 6-4 265 pound 4th year DE beat out D’Aundre Reed and Lawrence Jackson to win the 4th and final DE roster spot. Johnson was promoted to the Vikings 53 man roster in late December of 2012 and has impressed the coaches enough this off-season to make the final cut in 2013. In 2010, Johnson was signed by Tampa Bay as an undrafted rookie out of Rutgers. Johnson worked his way up to playing in 2 games for the Buccaneers in 2011 before an injury put him on IR. Johnson looks to build on his 7 total career NFL tackles. Johnson’s 5 solo tackle in preseason lead all Vikings’ DEs, but in the regular season he will have a hard time taking snaps away from Jared Allen, Brian Robison or Everson Griffen.

Troy Kropog won the swing tackle position, at least for the next four weeks until DeMarcus Love comes back from his suspension. The 6-6 308 pound tackle from Tulane has been in the NFL for 4 years. Kropog was drafted in the 4th round of the 2009 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans. The Vikings promoted Kropog from the practice squad to the 53 man roster last season when Percy Harvin was placed on IR. Kropog has played in 7 games with 0 starts in his NFL career. It will be interesting to see what the Vikings do with the backup tackle position in the next few weeks. Will Kropog stick when Love comes back, or will the Vikings look to upgrade the backup tackle position by signing a free agent? Frazier had talked about finding a swing tackle in the 2012 draft, but that did not appear to have happened. Was that just a smoke screen? Do the Vikings have confidence in Love or Kropog? Stay tuned… I don’t think this story has reached the final page.

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While it is no surprise that Brian Robison and his sprained shoulder will not be active against Houston today, and Everson Griffen will get his first career start, it is somewhat of a surprise who will be backing up Griffen.

D’Aundre Reed has been inactive the last few weeks and that is going to continue for another week.  Instead, George Johnson will be on the active roster, despite being activated from the practice squad just yesterday.

In addition to Robison and Reed, here are the rest of the Vikings inactives:  QB Bethel-Thompson, WR Burton, CB Burton, LB Cole, and OT Kropog.

The very healthy Texans have no surprises in their inactives with cornerback Alan Ball being the most notable of the bunch.

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The Vikings made a flurry of moves on Saturday, the night before they face off against the Texans in Houston, and each one indicates a little a nugget of importance.

CB Chris Cook Activated:  If the Vikings are going to make the playoffs then they need all of the stars to align just right over the next two weeks.  One of those stars in already in place as Chris Cook has been removed from the Injured Reserve and activated.  Assuming he plays, at least on a part time basis, he will line up against monster receiver Andre Johnson.  Ever since Cook was injured, the Vikings have clearly struggled a lot more against top flight receivers, so his presence against the Texans could be a major boost.

DE George Johnson Activated From Practice Squad:  Johnson probably won’t be active on Sunday, but the move to add depth at the end position tells us that injured Brian Robison is highly unlikely to play.  Everson Griffen will start in Robison’s place.

G Mark Asper Waived:  Ever since signing offensive tackle Troy Kropog the Vikings have had more offensive linemen on the roster than they would normally carry.  Apparently the Vikings think Kropog offers them more than Asper, who never saw action this season, and so they opted to jettison Asper.  Asper, however, could be a very good candidate to return in the very near future.

TE Allen Reisner Waived:  Reisner comes and Reisner goes.  This has happened enough times that I wouldn’t read anything into it other than he is clearly less valued than rookie Rhett Ellison.

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The practice squad revolving door took another spin on Friday when the Minnesota Vikings swapped one defensive end for another.

The Vikings waived Ernest Owusu from the practice squad to make room for George Johnson.

Johnson, formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, went undrafted out of Rutgers during the 2010 NFL Draft. During his three seasons in the league, the 6’4’’, 265-pound end has seen the field during nine games. In that time, he has amassed seven total tackles.

After seeing limited action early last season, Johnson spent the majority of the year on the Injured Reserve list following a knee injury. He played in five games for the Buccaneers in 2012 before being released on November 1.

More than anything, Johnson will provide depth along the line. The former Scarlet Knight does, however, offer some upside as a project who could eventually develop into a contributor.

Owusu is an undrafted rookie out of Cal who has spent the last couple months on and off of the Vikings’ practice squad. Signed by Minnesota shortly after the conclusion of the 2012 NFL Draft, he failed to survive final roster cuts back in August. He was later re-signed to the practice squad, and has been waived five times since then. With the addition of Johnson, it’s unlikely that the Vikings will re-sign him anytime soon.

Just another insignificant roster swap as the Vikings attempt to avoid a mid-season letdown.

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