After going through a legal battle in June that seemed like it might endanger his future in Minnesota, Michael Floyd has shaken off the Kombucha kerfuffle and made a strong impression through one week of practices.
Without any official stats being kept in Mankato, the best evidence supporting Floyd’s excellence has simply been the eye test. He’s routinely created separation with defensive backs, extended the field vertically and displayed an impressive catch radius on balls thrown low or behind him.
Floyd was competing primarily against the second team early in camp, but with Laquon Treadwell now missing time due to an injury suffered Monday, Floyd has risen another rung up the depth chart to play with the 1s.
“I think he’s going to be a good weapon for us,” head coach Mike Zimmer said. “I’ve been impressed with his long speed as well. He’s had some nice subtle leans on things where he can come back out of routes.”
On Day 1 of camp, Floyd got free behind the defense twice, hauling in one long reception and being overthrown on the other. His most impressive day came on Sunday in pads when he snagged a fade in the corner of the end zone with one hand, then later adjusted on a pass behind him for another touchdown grab of about 20 yards. And there have been numerous other highlights in between.
The key now is for Floyd to learn the nuances of Pat Shurmur’s offense.
“It’s coming easier to me now,” said Floyd. “With more reps and more meeting time that we have, I can store it all into my brain.”
As mentioned above, Floyd will be seeing first-team reps until Treadwell returns from what he deemed a muscle strain.
Treadwell got in a tussle with corner Antone Exum Jr. on Monday and did not return to practice afterward. On Wednesday he participated in the morning walkthrough but was wearing shorts and observing during the afternoon practice. Treadwell said that his injury did not occur during the fight with Exum, though. “Just running routes, running, strained a muscle,” Treadwell said. “We’re all out there competing. It’s a physical game, and injuries happen.”
Even though Treadwell participated once again in walkthrough, Zimmer said he did not expect the wide receiver to practice Thursday afternoon and would like to see more discipline when it comes to fighting.
“It wasn’t too smart,” Zimmer said of the skirmish. “Guys have been hitting each other for a while, so some guy takes an extra shot and somebody gets upset and throws a punch or something like that, so I talked to them about it today and we’ll see if we get that corrected.”
Gedeon name drops
Zimmer has twice brought up rookie Ben Gedeon’s name, unsolicited, when asked about the competition for the starting weakside linebacker job.
On July 29, when prodded about the rotation between Edmond Robinson and Emmanuel Lamur, Zimmer said, “We got Gedeon playing there some, too. We’re going to let it play out.”
Thursday, he received a similar question focusing solely on Robinson and Lamur and when a decision might be made on a starter. His response: “Probably not until after we see them in some live action. I’m going to look at Gedeon there, too.”
Call it conjecture, but Zimmer seems to be planting the idea of the fourth-round pick having a chance to secure Chad Greenway’s old job.
“He’s a tough guy,” Zimmer said early in camp about Gedeon. “He’s kind of an old school linebacker, tough guy. He’s got very good instincts, physicality. We’re playing him in a couple different spots just to get him acclimated. He’s smart. You tell him one time and he gets it pretty good. I like him.”