Sunday, August 20, 2017

robert blanton

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Crossroads with safety Andrew Sendejo
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Are the Minnesota Vikings at a crossroads with safety Andrew Sendejo?

In 2016, the Minnesota Vikings signed soon-to-be free agent Andrew Sendejo to a four-year, $16 million contract extension. It was quite the deal for a safety who hadn’t even started a full season in the NFL.

However, the Vikings protected themselves. The terms of the contract gave the team a potential out after just two years. That time is almost here. Considering Sendejo’s remaining deal is both hefty and no longer guaranteed, his future as a Viking may be in doubt after the season.

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Image courtesy of Vikings,com

Last week, it was all about the offensive and special teams free agents that could potentially land in Minnesota this offseason. This week, it is all about the defense.

For a unit that ranked fifth in points allowed last season, one would think that the Vikings do not have much to improve upon for 2016. However, improving in a few areas this offseason with free agent signings could help propel Minnesota’s defense into one of the NFL’s best in more categories than just points allowed.

Finding a safety to play next to Harrison Smith is priority number one on this defense’s offseason checklist, as well as improving the play at few other positions. The Vikings, who spent the fourth least amount on free agents last offseason, will likely bring in players who put a smaller dent in their wallet and shy away from the free agents looking for their big payday.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

NamePositionInjuryWed.Thurs.Fri.Status
Anthony BarrLBGroin/HandDNPDNPLPOut
Scott CrichtonDEConcussion/NeckDNPDNPDNPOut
Charles JohnsonWRAnkleDNPLPOut
Harrison SmithSKnee/HamstringLPLPDNPOut
Everson GriffenDEShoulderDNPDNPLPQuestionable
Linval JosephDTFootDNPLPLPQuestionable
Robert BlantonSKneeFPFPFPProbable
Andrew SendejoSKneeLPFPFPProbable
Brandon WattsLBRibLPFPFPProbable

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Given the quick turnaround from Week 13 to Week 14, it’s no surprise that Anthony Barr (Groin), Linval Joseph (Foot), Antone Exum (Ribs/Shoulder), and Harrison Smith (Hamstring) have all been ruled out for Thursday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. A.J. Mansour of KFAN broke the news early Tuesday morning and cast a dark shadow over the hopes of an optimistic Minnesota Vikings fan base.

Coming off a 38-7 drubbing at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks, the Vikings will need to regain their early season form to retain the NFC’s fifth Wild Card spot. They’re currently a game ahead of the Seahawks and two games ahead of a crowded group of teams “in the hunt.” On paper, Thursday’s game heavily favors the Cardinals, who enter Week 14 with the league’s top-ranked offense and fourth-ranked defense.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings entered Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks with a litany of injuries, and now, there may not be any room left on the bench. Anthony Barr (groin) and Harrison Smith (hamstring) left the field early in the first quarter and didn’t return the rest of the first half. Robert Blanton was injured on a hit from teammate Antone Exum, forcing Terence Newman to move from cornerback to free safety for a play. Blanton returned, but the injury bug is biting, and biting hard in Minnesota.

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