Promising Vikings Rookie Finally Gets His Chance in Week 15

It's Officially Brian Asamoah Time
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Promising Vikings Rookie Finally Gets His Chance in Week 15

Several “footnotes” dribbled out of the Minnesota Vikings dramatic comeback victory over the Indianapolis Colts, including an NFC North triumph for the first time since 2017, a guaranteed home playoff game, and the continuation of the team’s perfect 10-0 record via one-score games this season.

Another unsung storyline arrived, too, as rookie linebacker Brian Asamoah was, alas, folded into the mainstream defense.

Promising Vikings Rookie Finally Gets His Chance in Week 15

Promising Vikings Rookie Finally Gets His Chance in Week 15
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Asamoah, a 3rd-Rounder from Oklahoma, was on the field for 21 defensive plays — or about 27% of the time. And while that isn’t breaking news for a veteran player or starter, it was the most defensive snaps to date in his young NFL career.

How’d he do? Not bad. The defender logged 8 tackles, playing more snaps than usual as starting linebacker Jordan Hicks who played 65% of defensive snaps. And for Asamoah’s troubles, he recorded a 57.9 Pro Football Focus grade.

Plus, the grade would’ve climbed substantially higher if this play was allowed to stand.

Asamoah helped jar the ball loose, but the NFL officials were in no mood to allow defensive touchdowns for the Vikings. Cornerback Chandon Sullivan would’ve scored in the video from the tweet above — and this one:

But that’s neither here nor there, as Minnesota won despite refusing to acknowledge Vikings defensive touchdowns.

Brian Asamoah. © Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Vikings coaching staff has hinted for weeks about Asamoah receiving more on-field action, but until Saturday versus the Colts, the result was merely a few snaps here and there. On special teams, he’s been a steady contributor, tallying 275 snaps on kicks and punts, so the defensive acclimation is more like fruition.

Finally, the Vikings starting off-ball linebackers, Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks, are 30 years old. Knowing if Asamoah is a possible starter for the future is imperative as the Vikings contemplate a draft strategy in the next few months. If Asamoah can gradually climb box scores in the final weeks, the Vikings will know “what they have” in Asamoah before the 2023 NFL Draft.

After recording 23 total tackles in 2019, OU linebacker Brian Asamoah. Syndication: The Oklahoman.

The Vikings take on the New York Giants next Saturday, a team who toppled the Washington Commanders on Sunday Night Football in Week 15, 20-12.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).