Friday, October 30, 2015, 6:45pm
Thursday, October 29, 2015, 6:14pm
Wednesday, October 28, 2015, 6:45pm
Friday, October 23, 2015, 7:16pm
For what it’s worth, rookie Stefon Diggs was running with the first-team offense in the three-receiver set during the open part of practice this morning. But we should also note that the media only gets to see the first few minutes of practice. Probably because we’d report things like this.
For those keeping track, Diggs ran with the starters on Wednesday, ran behind Charles Johnson on Thursday and was back with the starters on Friday. Whether or not he plays starter's snaps in Week 7, only OC Norv Turner knows. We feel comfortable ranking Diggs as a WR4 with upside, but owners counting on him this week should be aware of his floor. It's hard to believe that the Vikings would send him back to the bench after his quality play in the last two games, but stranger things have happened.
Thursday, October 22, 2015, 6:35pm
Friday, October 16, 2015, 6:15pm
Thursday, October 15, 2015, 6:18pm
Friday, October 2, 2015, 6:45pm
Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson was a week from returning to the Vikings' roster after a three-game suspension for drunken driving, when ESPN reported on Sept. 18 that Simpson had been cited in July for misdemeanor marijuana possession and driving with an open bottle. The Vikings released Simpson later that day, and signed Charles Johnson off the Cleveland Browns' practice squad the next day.
It seemed at the time like a move to replenish the Vikings' wide receiver depth with a known commodity -- quarterbacks coach Scott Turner had been Johnson's position coach the previous year in Cleveland -- but Johnson was less than a year removed from knee surgery, and didn't play more than 20 snaps in a game until Nov. 16. From that point on, though, he caught 25 passes for 415 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and supplanted Cordarrelle Patterson as the team's "X" receiver.
"He was recovering from that knee surgery a year ago and I don't know that he was ever 100 percent," offensive coordinator Norv Turner said. "I think he's 100 percent. He's got great work ethic, and he's a big, strong guy. He's a 218-pound receiver that can run. He's got everything you need to be a productive player in this league."
In organized team activities and minicamp, there was no mystery about where Johnson figured in the Vikings' plans, the story went on to say. He was lined up at split end all spring, and teamed with Mike Wallace and Jarius Wright in the team's three receiver sets. According to ESPN, 33 of Johnson's 58 targets were at least 10 yards downfield, and 13 of those 58 were 20 or more yards downfield. Johnson worked out in Southern California with Bridgewater and a number of the Vikings' receivers this offseason, and also spent time in Houston with Rischad Whitfield, the "Footwork King" who has counted Antonio Brown and DeAndre Hopkins among his clients. Johnson is one of 4for4.com Senior Editor John Paulsen's potential sleepers this year. We rank him 37th on our WR list and he looks to be in a good situation with the offense under OC Norv Turner and a developing QB in Bridgewater.
“I know he’s a dynamic receiver and he’s been doing a great job of working, he’s a guy that works very, very hard,” Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said. “He’s been catching the ball well. He’s been learning the playbook. All of these things are all different, but he’s looked good.”
Said offensive coordinator Norv Turner: “Mike looks really fast. I don’t know if he needs a double move (to create separation from defenders). He’s getting a feel for our offense. He’s a very smart guy.”
Added NFL Network’s Jeff Darlington, who lives in south Florida and has covered Wallace for all of his NFL career: “I can tell you that the speed is the real deal. This guy is as fast as advertised.”
Wallace will likely start opposite Charles Johnson with Cordarrelle Patterson and Jarius Wright battling for snaps as the team’s WR3. We're wary anytime a receiver changes teams, especially when he's not getting a promotion, which is the case with Wallace. He will have more opportunity to use his speed since OC Norv Turner likes the deep ball.
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