Vikings TE Needed “Clean Up on His Knee”

Gets the CNN
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Vikings TE Nick Muse has a shot to stick around the Vikings’ roster, especially since T.J. Hockenson is working his way back from his own knee ailment. To that end, the recent word from Kevin O’Connell is notable.

Minnesota’s head coach clarified that the soon-to-be third-year tight end needed some work to get his knee back to 100%. “Nick Muse did just have a small kind of clean up on his knee,” O’Connell explains. “Something that was kind of lingering, and kind of developed to a point where we wanted to make sure he was able to have the best possible training camp he can. By getting that cleaned up when we did, he’ll be a full participant to start training camp at the tight end position.”

Vikings TE Nick Muse Gets Procedure on Knee

Removing Hockenson from the mix changes things.

Minnesota is moving ahead without their TE1 for a bit, so the response has been to ratchet up the competition. Last season’s trio — Josh Oliver, Johnny Mundt, and Muse — are all back. Added into the mix is UDFA Trey Knox, WR-turned-TE N’Keal Harry, International Player Pathway Program exemption player Sammis Reyes, and FA signing Robert Tonyan.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Basically, if there’s a way for Minnesota to add more help to their tight end spot, they’re trying it.

Thankfully, the Nick Muse injury doesn’t sound too serious. O’Connell frames the issue as one that was “kind of lingering.” Doing the surgery now is about getting Muse back to 100% during the offseason’s slowest portion. When the competition really gets moving in training camp in July, Muse should be locked and loaded.

Originally, Muse became a Viking via the 7th-Round of the 2022 NFL Draft. At 227th overall, Muse got the call that he would become a Viking.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

He hasn’t received too much playing time since then, but that’s to be expected for someone picked so late.

His rookie season involved no playing time on offense but he was active for ten games. Special teams are where Muse got his shot. He picked up 108 snaps for Matt Daniels’ group.

As a sophomore, Muse saw his role decrease, being active for just a pair of games. Mundt was retained, Oliver was added, and Hockenson was in town for the full season. Add it all together and there wasn’t much room for Mr. Muse. He did, though, snag 29 special teams snaps and then a pair of snaps on offense. While on offense, Muse turned his single target into a catch for 22 yards.

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports.

The man has pretty good size at 6’5″, 252. At 25, he still has a lot of football left in his lungs and legs. The best way for him to make the team is to show that he can be a monster on special teams. Oh, and picking up more large gains on offense won’t hurt his chances, either.

Nick Muse’s 2024 cap charge is coming in at just $985,000.

His brother, Tanner, is employed by the Los Angeles Chargers.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped with this piece.

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K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.