Since the Minnesota Vikings are taking the day off Monday, it seems like a good time to take inventory of the players they relinquished this past offseason and what they’re doing with their new teams.
The offseason hype train is in full force with the Saints new running back. Adrian Peterson is wowing fans at practice. He is ready to catch the ball more effectively. He is motivated by his doubters. All reports suggest that Peterson is equipped to bounce back from a disappointing end to his Vikings career, but will his body hold up at age 32? And will his punishing running style be effective in a rotational role?
It will all come to a head when the Vikings host the Saints on Sept. 11 to kick off the season. Unless Peterson plays in the preseason — which he has rarely done — fans’ first glimpse at Peterson wearing the fleur-de-lis on his helmet may come that night.
The much-maligned former Vikings kicker got off to a scintillating start in Seattle with an 8-of-8 performance in his first preseason game, making all six extra points and two field goals.
After a bad practice early in training camp where Walsh made just two out of four tries, he rebounded to make his next 10 kicks in live reps and is reportedly clearing the net on 53-yard kicks in practice, which is crazy.
Walsh desperately needed a change of scenery after his falling out in Minnesota. He seems to be rebounding well in his new home and gets to face his old team on Friday.
The former Vikings nickel corner joined his former-former team in Carolina this offseason, signing a four-year contract with the Panthers.
Munnerlyn dealt with a hamstring injury early in training camp but got healthy enough to play in the preseason opener and recorded one tackle against Houston.
Carolina fans seem happy to have Munnerlyn back, which is no surprise based on his award-winning personality, not to mention how bad their secondary was last season. Munnerlyn shouldn’t have to sweat over his starting job.
The former left tackle who departed for Carolina in free agency is off to a strong start with the Panthers following a groin injury earlier in camp. Kalil shut down Jadeveon Clowney of the Houston Texans in his first preseason game and did not allow a sack.
Kalil has said his hip and knee pain from previous injuries has subsided. He is loving playing with his 32-year-old brother as they look to protect Cam Newton and propel the Panthers back into the playoffs.
The New York Giants gave Ellison the largest contract in total dollars of any acquisition this offseason, so they expect him to contribute. Ellison has been working plenty at fullback, but he was also listed atop the team’s depth chart at tight end, in front of rookie Evan Engram.
While that distinction may not last into the season, Ellison hopes to be utilized more often as a pass catcher. He caught three passes for 20 yards in his preseason debut.
The former Vikings running back, who is competing for a job in the Detroit Lions backfield, did not have a good preseason debut, finishing with six yards on five carries.
Fans aren’t happy.
Matt Asiata hasn’t had a good day. Came in AFTER Washington, hasn’t shown as a runner or receiver.Tough to win a spot with that kind of play
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) August 13, 2017
Matt asiata has 2 carries for 4 yards for the lions so I guess he’s doing better than last season so far.
— Capital J (@capitalJ23) August 13, 2017
Cordarrelle Patterson caught two passes for 23 yards in his first game with Oakland, starting in place of the injured Amari Cooper. He is projected as the fourth receiver on the Raiders’ roster, as well as their kick returner, and may have learned from some of the mental mistakes he made early in his Vikings career. His coaches speak highly of him.
Former Vikings punter Jeff Locke improved his chances of securing the Indianapolis Colts’ punting job with a 44.5 yard average on six punts in his first preseason game, far outperforming his challenger Rigoberto Sanchez.
The Vikings did not get what they paid for in right tackle Andre Smith, who missed most of 2016 with injury before returning to Cincinnati as their hopeful new right guard to replace the departed Kevin Zeitler. Smith has been banged up throughout camp, however, leading to questions about his ability to stay healthy for 16 games.
Cole is listed as the Jaguars backup strong side linebacker and will likely be trying to prove his worth as a special teamer, as well. In his preseason debut, he made four tackles against New England but apparently missed on a would-be sack.
Audie Cole gets home on the blitz, but whiffs on the sack. Pass completed for 1st down and big gain. pic.twitter.com/x6T714aroM
— Matt Hoffman (@MattHoffmanNFL) August 12, 2017
The ex-Vikings wide receiver had his season cut short in Carolina as he was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury.
He probably won’t make the team in Tampa, but he did make a cameo in Episode 1 of “Hard Knocks.”