Sunday, April 19, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "sharrif floyd"

sharrif floyd

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Kevin Williams took a cheap, low block from Niners guard Joe Looney on Sunday evening and things looked really bad for him as he laid on the turf.  Then they looked a lot better as he left the field under his own power and reportedly told teammates he was fine.

On Monday, after an MRI, the news was somewhere in the middle.

Williams hyperextended and bruised his right knee during the game, or more accurately Joe Looney hyperextended his knee on a cheap shot, and his availability for the season opener is now in question.  The good news, however, is that the injury will not require surgery and Williams should not be out of action for long.

Still, following a minor knee surgery to Sharrif Floyd and Christian Ballard’s bizarre departure from the team, the team cannot afford to take many more hits to the middle of their defensive line.  This will certainly be a situation to monitor as the season opener in Detroit draws nearer.

By the way, the injury occurred on what was really a B.S. cheap shot from Niners guard Joe Looney.

As worries about quarterback Christian Ponder’s ability to take things to the next level seem to mount within the Vikings fan base, there is a growing list of other woes that seem to be dampening some of the enthusiasm surrounding this team as the regular season draws nearer.

DeMarcus Love will not be available for the first our weeks due to suspension.  Cornerback Jacob Lacey was released after injuries gave him no chance to take the practice field.  Defensive tackle Christian Ballard has reportedly returned to his hometown indefinitely to deal with personal issues.

Now, Sharrif Floyd’s rookie development will, at least in part, be put on hold as he recovers from a “minor” knee surgery.

Leslie Frazier said yesterday that Floyd will likely miss the remainder of the preseason, but the good news is that he’s expected back and healthy by the regular season opener.  Still, rookie repetitions during the preseason hold a premium value and it is disappointing that the team’s top Draft selection has had his opportunity cut short even if it is temporary.

I’m not trying to be an alarmist here, and with Kevin Williams in the fold Floyd is certainly not some we must see at full tilt in week one, but the pile of problems seems to be growing at a steady pace. 

Love, Lacey and Ballard were all players thought to have well-defined roles within the Vikings roster in 2013.  Now they are, by all appearances, going to be non-factors as the regular season gets underway.  The momentum just seems to be headed in the wrong direction at the wrong time.

That is all.

The Vikings appeared to take a major step backwards when they traded Percy Harvin to Seattle during the opening hours of the new league year.  With Harvin on the mend, however, Seattle appears to have been taken to the cleaners (at least in the short term) while Rick Spielman loaded his roster with youthful talent.  Those rookies could each end up being a major part of this team’s success in 2013, and is certainly a group the Vikings hope they can rely on into the future, so I wanted to take a moment to check in on how each of them are doing in training camp so far.

SHARRIF FLOYD, DT

The Vikings have made no secret about their plans to rotate defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Sharrif Floyd.  Taking time away from an old faithful type of guy like Williams is a pretty good indication that the coaching staff likes what they see in Floyd.  If Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer gets his way, however, Floyd’s impact won’t be measured solely on defense.

Priefer made it clear that Floyd’s athleticism, size, and quick feet make him a prime candidate to play on special teams.  Priefer said he would like to work Floyd into situations as a wedge blocker on returns, field goal protection, and as a guy that might be able to knock a kick or two out of the air.  In three years at Florida, Floyd blocked three field goals.

Floyd may not garner as much attention as his fellow first rounders, who stand to get more snaps in base packages, but the coaching staff sure seem to be sold on his abilities and want to find ways to let him make an impact in his first year.  He is currently listed behind both Williams and Christian Ballard on the team’s official depth chart, but that is very fluid this time of year.

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2013 Training Camp - Christian Ponder
(Photo by Chris Price.)

Vikings players reported to training camp this past Thursday and two days in we already have some catching up to do. Though the first two sessions were without pads, there are still some interesting notes from Friday and Saturday.

  • Let’s talk health first… Through the first two days of camp, the Vikings have emerged relatively unscathed. The biggest piece of injury related news was that nose tackle Letroy Guion was forced to leave the first day of camp with a right elbow injury. Guion, who is presently in competition for his spot with backup Fred Evans, had x-rays done that night to determine the severity of the injury. Luckily, the images came back negative and he should be participating again soon.
  • Now on to Christian Ponder as he has been the primary focus of media and fans the first two sessions. The word out of camp so far isn’t good for #7. Talk has been that Ponder has struggled early with accuracy and often checking down to his tight ends. Ponder threw an interception to Blanton in passing drills, an almost-interception on a pass to Greg Jennings which was dropped by Jamarca Sanford, etc… And apparently, struggles in the passing game continued into Day 2. It’s worth noting that the weather has been nasty at Mankato with some pretty strong gusts. Of his performance and the weather, Ponder told reporters, “The first day was tough with the wind especially… On certain throws, you try to [put] touch on the ball, and if you do that it’s gone. A couple hung in the air and the wind took them away and it looked like some bad plays. It’s going to happen.” Kevin Seifert of ESPN North notes that Ponder did have some nice passes if you’re a glass half full kind of guy.
  • Cordarrelle Patterson has already become a fan favorite at camp with a pretty nice sideline, one-handed grab.

The Vikings avoided taking a hit to their depth at defensive tackle this offseason by renegotiating the contract of veteran Kevin Williams.  Additionally, they bolstered the position for this season, and into the future, by spending one of their first round picks on Florida standout Sharrif Floyd.

The also spent a late pick on Florida State tackle Everett Dawkins in an effort to proactively ease the inevitable transition the front four will see very soon.  Dawkins may have an uphill battle to make the roster, but it is obvious the Vikings are preparing to move on from at least some of their current veterans, such as Williams.

While nose tackle Letroy Guion had a disappointing first year a starter, veteran Fred Evans showed up big on a number of key plays last season, and they should continue to compete for each other’s playing time.  Fourth year player Christian Ballard has been largely mediocre throughout his career so far, but even he has shown some flashes that provide some intrigue heading into 2013.

Second year player Chase Baker, along with undrafted rookie Anthony McCloud, round out the competition for spots on the bottom of the depth chart.

Age and injuries seem to be catching up with Williams, as he hasn’t played at an all-pro level for a few years now, but he can still get the job done and the hope is that being fully health will actually result in some improved play.  It can’t hurt that he is now in the final year of his contract with the Vikings and has publicly stated his intention to play beyond 2013.  He will almost certainly go into the season as a starter, albeit rotated out of the lineup more often than we are used to seeing, but his presence will likely prove to be quite valuable as the season wears on.

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