Saturday, February 13, 2016

john sullivan

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings continue their Bye Bye Bye Week as we fans Drive Ourselves Crazy.

THEE Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) swings by to talk a little Purple. Whether he liked the Gerald Hodges trade or Wants Him Back, if new center Nick Easton can help the offensive line get N*SYNC, why Norv needs to spend A Little More Time worrying about Teddy Dave Bridgewater, and we cast Vikings: The Sitcom.

Editors Note: The episode will not be full of N*SYNC puns. This I Promise You.

All that and other “Harrison is JT” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

Trader Rick stikes again

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

According to a report from the NFL Network’s Rand Getlin, the Minnesota Vikings have traded Gerald Hodges Jr. to the San Francisco 49ers. Shortly after Getlin broke the news, Adam Schefter shared details of the trade, which includes a 2016 sixth-round pick and center Nick Easton from the 49ers in exchange for Hodges.

The trade comes just days after the Vikings’ Week 4 loss to the Denver Broncos, a game in which Hodges did not start at middle linebacker. The 2013 fourth-round draft pick out of Penn State had started the first three weeks for the Vikings and recorded 19 tackles through four games, but saw less playing time as Mike Zimmer’s defense became more Nickel-heavy.

Hodges played just 26 snaps against the Broncos, while Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks played the majority of the Vikings’ defensive snaps at linebacker. Throughout the season, the rookie second-round pick has replaced Hodges in the team’s Nickel defense and performed well enough to warrant the trade. General manager Rick Spielman, who spoke to the media after the announcement, expressed his comfort with the team’s linebacker depth moving forward.

“It’s because of how we feel about (second-round pick Eric) Kendricks. We felt we had a lot of depth at that position. We feel strongly about Audie Cole and what he can bring and how well he’s been playing, but the development of Kendricks and Edmond Robinson continues to come along and we still have (Brandon) Watts on our practice squad at that position,” Spielman said.

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photo courtesy of vikings.com

The Vikings will kick off the 2015 regular season in San Francisco, facing the 49ers for Monday Night Football. With Adrian Peterson returning to the field after missing almost all of last season and Teddy Bridgewater heading into his full second year at the helm, the Vikings have several things to feel optimistic about.

Almost all teams experience face lifts during the offseason, but the 49ers in particular underwent extreme adjustments. In addition to gaining a new head coach in Jim Tomsula after Jim Harbaugh left for Michigan, San Francisco lost several players to retirement, off-field issues and free agency.

Let’s take a look at the Week 1 matchup:

Offensive Line

All right, let’s start with what is safe to assume will be the Vikings’ biggest concern: the offensive line. Most fans are still reeling from last year’s OL woes, and it appeared early this offseason that 2015 would offer better protection for Bridgewater and company.

Now, heading into Week 1, the Vikings are without starting tackle Phil Loadholt (Achilles) and starting center John Sullivan (back). The news of Sullivan having surgery came abruptly Thursday, after the team had reported for weeks that Sullivan simply suffered from back spasms.

In the absence of Loadholt and Sullivan, the Vikings will be relying on rookie T.J. Clemmings and veteran Joe Berger to fill in, respectively. However, there are a few silver linings: Clemmings has looked decent practicing in Loadholt’s stead, and there’s a lot of potential to grow into. Berger has been practicing with the first team for quite awhile now, and he is not exactly inexperienced. Also, the Vikings have Brandon Fusco back at the line after missing parts of the 2014 season.

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The NFL season is on us like white on rice. We’re still three days away from our Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings taking on the San Francisco 4ers (the 9 retired) Monday night at the Field of Jeans, home of Super Bowl Fitty. To get a dual perspective, we got Vincent Frank (@VincentFrankNFL) of eDraft, Yardbarker, and Forbes to stop by and drop some Niner knowledge on us as well as Arif Hasan’s (@ArifHasanNFL) weekly spot talking mostly offensive line issues. :(

Other “The O-Line is Shakier Than a Subpar Pizza Buffet” Talkers Include
• John Sullivan on IR DFR. What does it mean for the o-line?
• Jarius Wright got PAID
• Vikings San Francisco Memories!
Vincent Frank Talks 49ers
-What the hell happened the the Niners?
-Aldon Smith needs help. Ahmad Brooks is a shady dude.
-What will Tomsula be?
-Carlos Hyde will become an elite NFL running back.
-What is a Jarryd Hayne?
Vincent’s NFL preview on Forbes
-Can Kaepernick take the next step?
-FLY INTO THE GABBERT ZONE
-Vincent: Adrian will break the single season rushing record in 2015
-Kaep or Teddy, RIGHT NOW?
-Niners win on Monday if ________?
Arif Hasan for his regular Friday spot
-What was Arif’s nickname growing up?
-Weight of the Sully injury
-How will Jeremiah “Amish Paradise” Sirles fit in?
-Wright was paid why?
-Vikings have the fastest WR corp in the league
-Roster breakdown. Surprises?
-Adrian. Game One. What to expect?
-Any surprises from Teddy & Norv during the regular season? #VikingsPistol
-Vikings win on Monday if ________?
• Hypothetical: What 5 NFL figures do you want with you on a desert island?
• Four episode week next week!
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All that and other “See You In Santa Clara” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Starting center underwent lumbar microdiscectomy Wednesday

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

If the Vikings weren’t concerned about starting center John Sullivan earlier this week, they should be now. According to the team’s official website, Sullivan underwent a lumbar microdiscectomy on Wednesday and was placed on the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list. The injury and subsequent move to the IR means Sullivan can begin practicing after six weeks and playing after eight weeks.

Sullivan, who hadn’t practiced since August 18 because of back spasms, will miss at least half of the 2015 season, making him the second major loss to the Vikings’ starting offensive line. He joins Phil Loadholt on the sideline, leaving Teddy Bridgewater and the offense with a completely revamped group of players up front.

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