Player News - Vikings

Date: Team: Pos:

Vikings signed WR Cayleb Jones, OT Dieugot Joseph, TE Cedrick Lang, DE Caushaud Lyons, DE Ifeadi Odenigbo, CB Horace Richardson and LB Antwione Williams to reserve/future contracts.

Jones spent all of 2017 on the Vikings' practice squad after failing to make the team out of training camp. His younger brother is Bills receiver Zay Jones.
Jan 23 - 1:15 PM

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said C Pat Elflein needs surgery on his left ankle.

Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports the injury is a fractured ankle. Tomasson reports the center could be ready for OTAs, but ankle injuries can be tricky. A third-round pick last year, Elflein struggled in 14 rookie starts.
Jan 23 - 10:25 AM

Impending free agent Case Keenum said the Vikings have given no indication whether they'd be interested in re-signing him.

Keenum thrived filling in for an injured Sam Bradford this year, even winning a playoff game in the process. While it's hard to envision the Vikings using the franchise tag on Keenum, it wouldn't be a surprise if they brought him back as a one or two-year stopgap before handing the reigns to a future franchise quarterback. Wherever he ends up, the 29-year-old (he turns 30 next month) should be in for a big raise after being one of the league's biggest bargains at $2 million in 2017.
Jan 22 - 1:55 PM

Impending free agent Jerick McKinnon said he'd prefer to be a featured back.

That makes a return to Minnesota unlikely as McKinnon would probably have to settle for a change-of-pace/passing-down role behind lead ball-carrier Dalvin Cook. McKinnon had his best year yet in 2017, setting career-highs in most categories including touchdowns (five) and yards from scrimmage (991). The Buccaneers, Giants, Jets, Lions and Raiders are all teams that could use help in the running game.
Jan 22 - 1:19 PM

Dalvin Cook (ACL) said he has resumed jogging.

Cook does not have a timeline to resume football activities, but this update suggests he is right on schedule in his recovery. It is unlikely he gets in any work during OTAs, but he has a shot to be ready for training camp. Cook had 444 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in four games as a rookie.
Source: ESPN
Jan 22 - 12:45 PM

Teddy Bridgewater said he "definitely" sees himself as a starter in 2018.

The Vikings have big decisions to make at quarterback with all three of Bridgewater, Case Keenum, and Sam Bradford headed to free agency. The best-case scenario for the Vikings would be to re-sign Bridgewater as a backup for either Keenum or Bradford, but it sounds like he wants a real shot at a No. 1 job. Of course, that opportunity may prove difficult to find considering he has attempted two passes since 2015 because of a serious knee injury. Bridgewater's market will be one of the more interesting to monitor this spring.
Jan 22 - 12:15 PM

Kyle Rudolph caught 1-of-4 targets for a 25-yard touchdown in the Vikings' NFC title game loss to the Eagles.

Rudolph scored the first points of the game by getting behind the Eagles’ defense on what amounted to a blown coverage for a 25-yard touchdown. They were the only points the Vikings would score, and it was the only catch Rudolph would make. In the regular season, Rudolph lost a whopping 51 targets off his 2016 total due to Adam Thielen’s emergence and a high ankle sprain that limited Rudolph’s playing time in the season’s final month. He did score eight TDs, Rudolph’s most since 2012. Still only 28 years old despite having spent seven seasons in the league, Rudolph will return as a mid-range to low-end TE1 in 2018.
Jan 21 - 10:18 PM

Jarius Wright caught 3-of-6 targets for 51 yards in the Vikings' NFC title game loss to the Eagles.

Wright spent 2017 rotating with Laquon Treadwell and Michael Floyd in the Vikings’ No. 3 receiver role. The team committed to Wright as its full-time No. 3 in the playoffs, and he delivered stat lines of 3/56/0 and 3/51/0 in two postseason games. Wright has finished below 200 yards in consecutive years. The Vikings will now decide whether Wright is worthy of his $3.6 million salary for 2018.
Jan 21 - 10:16 PM

Adam Thielen caught 3-of-9 targets for 28 yards in the Vikings' NFC Championship game loss to the Eagles.

Thielen is believed to have played this game with transverse process fractures in his back, helping to explain his ineffectiveness. It was a whimpering end to a terrific campaign for Thielen, who caught five-plus passes in 13-of-16 regular season games en route to a stellar 91/1,276/14.0/4 stat line. Although Thielen is sometimes described by the public and/or TV announcers as "not that fast," he ran 4.45 coming out of college and is averaging over 14 yards per catch in the pros. Forever underrated, 27-year-old Thielen has a bright future as a consistent WR2 in fantasy leagues.
Jan 21 - 10:14 PM

Stefon Diggs caught 8-of-12 targets for 70 yards in the Vikings' NFC title game loss to the Eagles.

Diggs took a knee to the back on his first catch and didn’t seem right the rest of the way, appearing stiff on his routes and checking out of the game a few times. It was an anticlimactic ending to Diggs’ season after his heroic 61-yard game-winning touchdown in the Divisional Round. Diggs capped his third NFL campaign with a 64/849/13.3/8 receiving line, continuing to show game-breaking ability even as Adam Thielen emerged as the Vikings’ higher-volume wideout. Still only 24 years old, Diggs will again be an early- to middle-round fantasy pick in 2018, which is Diggs’ contract year.
Jan 21 - 10:12 PM

Latavius Murray rushed six times for 18 yards and caught 2-of-2 targets for 11 yards in the Vikings' NFC Championship loss to the Eagles.

The Vikings fell behind big early and never got back in, so Murray was severely out-snapped by passing-down back Jerick McKinnon. Although Murray has proven a less-than-exceptional talent, he held down the fort nicely as a between-the-tackles grinder following Dalvin Cook’s Week 4 ACL tear. Murray has averaged 4.0 yards per carry or fewer in three straight seasons, but he is a capable role player and executes more often than not in scoring position. Murray’s 2018 role will depend on McKinnon’s free agency landing spot and Cook’s knee health.
Jan 21 - 10:11 PM

Jerick McKinnon rushed 10 times for 40 yards and caught 11-of-12 targets for 86 yards in the Vikings' NFC Championship game loss to the Eagles.

As the Vikings fell out of this game early, McKinnon wound up with more volume than usual in catch-up mode, severely out-snapping interior grinder Latavius Murray. McKinnon’s 2017 emergence as a playmaking RBBC member helped keep Minnesota’s running game afloat following Dalvin Cook’s ACL tear, as McKinnon set career highs in rushing yards (570) and all receiving categories (51/421/8.3/2) in a timeshare with Murray. Now up for free agency, McKinnon should be a relatively hot commodity due to his all-purpose skill set. He turns 26 in May.
Jan 21 - 10:09 PM

Laquon Treadwell missed his lone target in the Vikings' NFC Championship game loss to the Eagles.

The Vikings tried to give Treadwell chances this regular season, but he was weeded out in favor of Jarius Wright in the playoffs. Turning 23 in June, Treadwell is in desperate need of a lightbulb-flipping offseason to give any hint of hope he isn't a massive draft bust. The 23rd overall pick in the 2016 draft, Treadwell has 21 catches for 215 scoreless yards (10.2 YPR) through two seasons.
Jan 21 - 10:04 PM

Case Keenum completed 28-of-48 passes for 271 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions in the Vikings' NFC title game loss to Philadelphia.

Keenum opened the scoring with a first-drive 25-yard touchdown strike to Kyle Rudolph, which was of course followed by 38 unanswered Eagles points. When the game was still in doubt, Keenum’s biggest mistakes came on a first-quarter 50-yard pick six caused by DE Chris Long’s pass rush and a second-quarter lost fumble to set up Alshon Jeffery’s first TD. Keenum was still a steady hand this season, logging a 22:7 TD-to-INT ratio and completing 67.6% of his throws, assisted by elite receiver play and a high-percentage Pat Shurmur-coordinated offense. Shurmur is expected to be the next coach of the Giants, and 30-year-old Keenum is up for free agency. Despite his strong 2017, we’re not buying reports Keenum will get the franchise tag. With Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater’s deals also up, GM Rick Spielman has many tough decisions ahead.
Jan 21 - 10:03 PM

Adam Thielen (back) is officially active for the NFC Championship Game.

Despite having a "couple of slight fractures," Thielen's status was never in doubt. Inactive for the Vikings are QB Teddy Bridgewater, QB Kyle Sloter, DT Shamar Stephen, RB Mack Brown, OG Danny Isidora, DE Tashawn Bower and C Cornelius Edison.
Jan 21 - 5:26 PM


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