Well, that was fun — for about 24 hours. Less than a day after the Vikings claimed safety Andrew Sendejo off of waivers from the Eagles, the Eagles swooped down and plucked the player who was waived in order to get him. Marcus Epps, a promising rookie safety from Wyoming who was drafted in the 6th-round this spring, was claimed off of waivers by Philadelphia on Thursday.
Apparently the safety swap wasn’t exactly what the Vikings had in mind. According to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, the Vikings tried to slide Epps through waivers and onto the practice squad.
One source said on #Vikings it "bit them in the (butt)" trying to slide Marcus Epps through waivers and Philly picked him up. The Vikings had been reluctant all season to expose some of their rookies who barely play to waivers such as Armon Watts, Oli Udoh and previously Epps.
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) November 7, 2019
Obviously the Vikings knew this was a possibility when they made the move, so it’s a bit of a head-scratcher that someone like WR Davion Davis wasn’t waived instead.
Epps, who made several nice plays throughout training camp as well as the preseason, was active during the first 8 weeks of the season. Although he predominately played special teams, the Vikings were grooming Epps at both safety and nickel cornerback. He was inactive last Sunday at Kansas City.
While losing Epps didn’t appear to be part of the plan, the team seems excited about the return of a familiar face.
“I think that was the big thing [with bringing back Sendejo] — familiarity with him. What he brings to the table as far as a football player… We all know he’s a smart football player,” said defensive coordinator George Edwards. “He’s aggressive and we really think he’s a good teammate and good guy to have in the meeting rooms. What you see is what you get out of him and we like what we see.”
Sendejo did not practice Thursday due to a groin injury but he was able to stretch with teammates during warmups.
“Awesome having ‘Dejo back here,” said tight end Kyle Rudolph. “Obviously he’s a great player and not only is he a great safety but he’s great on special teams. He’s a guy that made his career in this league on special teams. So, he’ll give us a big lift on both defense and special teams.”
Speaking of special teams…
Mike Hughes getting experience at punt returner
During his press conference on Thursday, Vikings’ special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf had this to say about Mike Hughes working as the punt returner:
“You gotta remember he didn’t do it in the preseason… He kinda needs those games under his belt just to kinda get warmed up to it — and I think he’s starting to get there. Obviously there’s still a lot of positive things that he can do [at the position]. But I think the more opportunities he gets, I think the more comfortable he’s gonna feel getting that ball downhill.”
Hughes has worked his way back from a serious knee injury that kept him off the field for 11 months. So far this season, he’s gained 38 yards on 7 punt returns for an average of 5.4 yards per return. In college, he averaged 16.6 yards per return on 14 attempts. As a rookie in 2018, he returned 2 punts for 13 yards (6.5 YPR). It seems to be just a matter of time before things heat up for Hughes in the punt return department.
Britton Colquitt joined Paul Allen’s radio show on Wednesday
I’ll leave you with this quote from Vikings’ punter Britton Colquitt, who appeared on KFAN’s ‘9 to Noon’ radio program on Wednesday.
#Vikings P Britton Colquitt via KFAN:
“When you’re chasing greatness every loss just feels like it’s the end of the world. But you look at all these teams that win the Super Bowl…And it’s like, these things happen – and it’s normal & it builds you & you grow & you get better.”
— Sean Borman (@SeanBormanNFL) November 7, 2019