“I just got here; I don’t even know if I’ve been here for six hours yet,” new Vikings RB Ben Tate said after practice when asked about his new teammates. “You’re asking me questions I really can’t answer.”
Tate practiced for the first time since the Vikings claimed him off waivers Wednesday from the Browns, which came as a surprise to him. He’ll have only three days to get acclimated to a new scheme before his first game in purple against the Packers on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium.
“It was tough,” said Tate, describing the past two days. “After being claimed, I’ve got a girl and a little boy so it’s definitely tough trying to get situated with that. Just traveling, not much sleep and not much eating. I’m starving.”
The 26-year-old might be relied on because of injuries to running backs Matt Asiata, who missed his second consecutive practice going through the league’s concussion protocol, and Jerick McKinnon, who was limited because of a lower back injury.
Tate has never played in offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s system, and Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he’s not sure if Tate will be active Sunday.
“He practiced some today,” Zimmer said. “He got some reps and was in the blitz pickup. He was in everything, so we’ll see how fast he gets. It was a quick day for him.”
This doesn't sound like a player who is going to cut into Jerick McKinnon's workload this week. With Matt Asiata already ruled out, owners should start McKinnon with confidence.