Wednesday, December 13, 2017

MyCole Pruitt

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Kyle Rudolph
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Our first installment of our Vikings Free Agency Primer series: The Tight Ends

It’s the time of year to start speculating (and gently trying to nudge Rick Spielman in the right direction) about the fixes for a roster that lost as many games as it won in 2016. Obviously, health is a major part of their past failures and future (hopefully) successes, but the 2017 version of the Minnesota Vikings will not be turnover-free.

Thus, the Vikings Territory team is taking a position-by-position look at the current talent, contract situations, and potential moves that could make some sense heading into next season. We may even plant our flags with a prediction or two along the way.

First up, I’ve decided to take on one of my favorite positions to watch in the modern NFL. Tight ends can be such a factor in the run game, in pass protection, and as an attacking target that they seem to be becoming more and more important to today’s offenses.

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Waive TE MyCole Pruitt
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Injuries have a way of influencing the way teams operate both on and off the field. The balance between sufficient depth and play-making potential is often put to the test when faced with a lengthy injury report.

After weaving through a multitude of high-impact injuries, the Minnesota Vikings were forced to make a difficult decision in an effort to field a 53-man roster that boasts talent, depth, and stability.

The Vikings announced they have activated Taylor Heinicke from their non-football injury list, and, in order to clear a roster spot for the former Old Dominion quarterback, the team waived tight end MyCole Pruitt.

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Stefon Diggs Will Start vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings enter Week 7 armed with arguably their most dangerous offensive weapon, Stefon Diggs. A groin/hamstring injury kept Diggs out of Minnesota’s last game, but the second-year receiver will start as the Vikings look to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles.

With Laquon Treadwell (thumb) and Jarius Wright (ankle) inactive, Diggs should see plenty of play in the Vikings’ new-look, hurry-up offense. It’s an encouraging sign that Diggs is starting, indicating he’s close to full health. In addition to Treadwell and Wright, the Vikings will sit five other players:

Sharrif Floyd continues to work his way back from an early season knee procedure. MyCole Pruitt injured his knee in Week 5 but is expected to return soon.

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Treadwell, Pruitt, Boone Active
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings’ second primetime game of 2016 finds the team at its healthiest in this young season. The offensive line is as intact as its been in weeks, the receiving corps is surprisingly deep, and a new tight end will make his debut tonight.

Alex Boone, who injured his hip last week, will start at left guard for the Vikings. He’ll be joined on offense by Laquon Treadwell, a healthy scratch against the Carolina Panthers in Week 3. MyCole Pruitt is also making his first appearance of the year following a knee injury suffered in the preseason. His return comes as David Morgan, Minnesota’s productive rookie tight end, recovers from a knee injury suffered last week.

Minnesota’s inactive list is as follows:

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Laquon Treadwell Inactive vs. Panthers
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings first round draft pick Laquon Treadwell is inactive for today’s game against the Carolina Panthers. The team’s 2016 first round draft pick has been a quiet addition, playing in just a handful of snaps this season.

It’s the first “healthy scratch” of Treadwell’s young career and a disappointing development for the former Ole Miss star. In his place, Jarius Wright is active for the first time this season. Minnesota’s most veteran wide receiver will likely play his first snaps against the Panthers as the Vikings try to score against Carolina’s stingy defense.

Other inactives include new addition Ronnie Hillman, recently injured Sharrif Floyd, and MyCole Pruitt, who is working his way back from an MCL injury.

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