Vikings OTA Update: The Injury Bug Bites First Vikings Victim
The Vikings OTA’s have been underway and the usual “best shape of my life” and “I’ll be at one hundred percent” updates are following their typical paths.
One piece of concrete news to come out of Winter Park, courtesy of Matt Vensel at the Star Tribune, is not a great one.
Defensive tackle B.J. Dubose reportedly tore his ACL during an indoor practice and is expected to spend his 2016 season on the injured reserve.
Dubose was a sixth round selection out of Louisville last offseason. Dubose was signed to the Vikings active roster at the conclusion of the 2015 regular season following the injury suffered by Rhett Ellison. Following the promotion from the practice squad, in addition to an ankle injury impacting Kenrick Ellis, Dubose was actually active for the playoff contest against Seattle.
He did not register any stats during that game, however, and it now appears that his third year in the NFL will be the earliest he can make an in-game impact.
Dubose stood to compete for a spot behind defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd prior to the injury. Floyd, Linval Joseph, and Tom Johnson are locks to make the final roster in Minnesota. Serious contenders for the remaining depth chart spot(s), without accounting for possible free agent pickups, are Shamar Stephen and Kenrick Ellis.
Despite plenty of discussion from fans and media outlets, Rick Spielman somewhat surprised fans on Draft weekend by ignoring the defensive tackle position. That conversation came to a head on Day Three of the Draft when Baylor star Andrew Billings was still available… and the Vikings continued to pass on his services.
Only time will tell how wise that decision was, but the Vikings are suddenly looking a bit thin at the defense’s chubbiest position.
Tom Johnson played with the first string defense on Wednesday, according to the Vensel report, as Floyd was also sidelined with an injury of his own.