2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Vikings rookie DT thrust into big role for opener

By JON KRAWCZYNSKI - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-06 17:03

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Ready or not, here it comes for Minnesota Vikings rookie defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.

Kevin Williams' right knee injury will keep him out of the season opener against the Detroit Lions on Sunday. That means Floyd will be thrust into a prominent role in the middle of the Vikings defense. The swap is significant, a six-time Pro Bowler and one of the best defensive tackles of his generation for a first-round draft pick who hasn't played in a game since the preseason opener.

``I think he's ready,'' coach Leslie Frazier said Friday. ``He had a good week of practice, hasn't shown any adverse effects from that injury. He's done everything we've asked him to do so we're going to let him go.''

Floyd injured his left knee in the first exhibition game, then had surgery and sat out the rest of the preseason. Williams suffered a bone bruise and hyperextension of his right knee against the San Francisco 49ers two weeks ago, and worked hard in rehab to try to be ready for the first game of the season. But the 11th-year veteran couldn't quite get there, so he will miss a game because of injury for the first time since 2005.

``It's a little frustrating because I feel good doing the stuff I need to do on the field,'' Williams said. ``I could probably try to play this week, but what's the (point) of trying to do that if I could miss four more after?''

Frazier wasn't ready to name a replacement in the starting lineup for Williams, saying the Vikings will use several players in that spot throughout the game. Floyd, the first of three first-round picks for the Vikings in April's draft, is the odds-on favorite to start.

It's a quick progression for a player who surprisingly slid down the draft board after initially being projected as a top-10 pick. The Vikings jumped on him at pick No. 23, planning to groom him behind Williams, who is entering the final year of his contract.

Floyd impressed coaches throughout the summer with his ability to pick up assignments and techniques quickly, but his development was stunted by his knee injury against Houston a month ago. Floyd just returned to the practice field for the first time this week, but pronounced himself ready handle whatever responsibility the Vikings give him.

``I'm feeling really good,'' Floyd said. ``Knee's fine. Everything's good. I had a good week of preparation. I'm just ready to play.''

Williams was on crutches last week after taking a low hit to his knee from 49ers offensive lineman Joe Looney. But he was up walking around fairly well at the team's headquarters this week and said he expects to be back in the lineup next weekend at Chicago.

``I'm real hopeful for next week,'' Williams said. ``I'd be shocked if I didn't play next week.''

In the meantime, Williams and the rest of Minnesota's veteran defensive line have been trying to help Floyd get up to speed. Floyd said he's been picking the brains of Williams, Jared Allen, Brian Robison and the rest of the unit to prepare himself for his first regular season game.

``I'm a guy that can learn in every way possible that you can teach it,'' Floyd said. ``The first time you tell it to me, it's already instilled. I'm going to get it done. The way I look at it is, if you tell me one thing I'm going to do it to the best of my ability and we can go back over it again and fix whatever else needs to be fixed. But you only have to tell me once. Rarely do you have to tell me twice.''

If the former Florida Gator is overwhelmed by the moment, he sure isn't letting on.

``No butterflies. It's still ball,'' Floyd said. ``It's not going to change over what news you hear. I know if I go through my keys and everything the way I'm supposed to read it, everything will be good.''

---

Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter: http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Benny CunninghamAug 29 10:18a

St. Louis Rams RB Benny Cunningham has been the team's best running back during the preseason and could push RB Zac Stacy for playing time this season.

Cam NewtonAug 29 09:37a

Updating a previous report, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (ribs) said Wednesday, Aug. 27, that he will be ready for the regular season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsAug 29 08:52a

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) suffered an injury to his ribs in the same area as his previous one, according to sources.

Martavis BryantAug 29 08:42a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant (shoulder) suffered a sprained right AC joint in his shoulder in the final preseason game Thursday, Aug. 28.

T.J. YatesAug 29 03:32a

Atlanta Falcons QB T.J. Yates threw for two touchdowns and 243 yards in his team's 24-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Dan OrlovskyAug 29 03:22a

Detroit Lions QB Kellen Moore was 17 of 28 for 172 yards and two touchdowns in a shutout of the Buffalo Bills Thursday, Aug. 28. It is not known [ More ]

Jeremy HillAug 28 11:52p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill (elbow) returned to the team's preseason finale Thursday, Aug. 28, after being evaluated in the locker room at halftime. He finished the game with [ More ]

Nate PalmerAug 28 11:52p

Green Bay Packers OT Aaron Adams (knee) and LB Nate Palmer (knee) left the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 28.

Devonta FreemanAug 28 11:22p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman had 12 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown and five catches for 45 yards during the team's preseason finale Thursday, Aug. 28.

Cecil Shorts IIIAug 28 10:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) said he will be ready for the team's season opener.

Sammy WatkinsAug 28 07:32p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) left the team's final preseason game with an apparent injury. There was no indication if Watkins aggravated his ribs.

Kyle Van NoyAug 28 07:12p

Detroit Lions LB Kyle Van Noy (abdomen) underwent surgery Thursday, Aug. 28, to repair a core muscle injury. Van Noy's timetable for a return is unknown this early in the process.

Tim BenfordAug 28 07:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Jace Davis, Dallas Cowboys WR Tim Benford, Kansas City Chiefs C Ben Gottschalk and Seattle Seahawks OG Greg Van Roten cleared waivers and became free agents Thursday, Aug. 28.

R. Griffin IIIAug 28 05:52p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III isn't playing consistently, according to ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski. Jaworski said Griffin must learn to throw from the pocket [ More ]

Geoff SchwartzAug 28 05:32p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), CB Prince Amukamara (groin), OT Charles Brown (shoulder), OT James Brewer (back), OG Geoff Schwartz (toe), OG [ More ]

Navorro BowmanAug 28 04:02p

San Francisco 49ers LB Michael Wilhoite appears to be the leading candidate to start at middle linebacker while LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) is out of the lineup.

J. CunninghamAug 28 03:52p

St. Louis Rams TEs Justice Cunningham and Alex Bayer likely are competing for one roster spot. Cunningham is considered a blocking tight end, while Bayer is a pass catcher. [ More ]

Michael SamAug 28 03:52p

St. Louis Rams DE Michael Sam is competing with DE Ethan Westbrooks for a spot on the final roster.

Alameda Ta'amuAug 28 03:32p

Arizona Cardinals DTs Dan Williams and Alameda Ta'amu are expected to rotate at nose tackle this season.

David GarrardAug 28 03:12p

Free-agent WR David Garrard (Jets) would like to return to an NFL roster, and thinks he has a chance to do that once rosters are cut down. I actually [ More ]

Phillip TannerAug 28 02:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have signed free-agent RB Phillip Tanner (Colts). Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived CB B.W. Webb.

Gabe CarimiAug 28 02:13p

Atlanta Falcons OTs Lamar Holmes, Gabe Carimi and Ryan Schraeder are all candidates for the starting right tackle job. Holmes appears to be the favorite for the job because of his experience.

Scott TolzienAug 28 01:52p

Green Bay Packers QBs Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien are expected to play in the final preseason game and still are competing for the No. 2 quarterback job. Head [ More ]

Jordan MillsAug 28 01:42p

Chicago Bears OT Jordan Mills (foot) may play in the final preseason game so he can get some game action before the start of the regular season. Mills has [ More ]

Josh GordonAug 28 01:02p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is not eligible to play in the CFL while serving a year-long suspension in the NFL, according to a league source.

Aaron MurrayAug 28 12:32p

Kansas City Chiefs QB Aaron Murray (knee) could land on the Reserve/Injured list, in the opinion of Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star.

Tony McDanielAug 28 11:52a

Seattle Seahawks DT Tony McDaniel (knee) and CB Jeremy Lane (groin) have not been practicing so they can recover from minor injuries. The team hopes both players will be [ More ]

Billy TurnerAug 28 11:22a

Miami Dolphins OG Billy Turner (foot) hopes to return to practice next week even though he has been wearing a walking boot this week. Turner has a bone bruise [ More ]

Jarrett BoykinAug 28 10:42a

Green Bay Packers WR Jarrett Boykin has taken the next step, according to head coach Mike McCarthy. 'He's physical, his toughness, he's relentless,' McCarthy said. 'I think he's exceptional [ More ]

Mike CampanaroAug 28 09:13a

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro remains in the mix for a spot on the 53-man roster. If the team elects to keep just five receivers, he would be competing [ More ]

D. Heyward-BeyAug 28 09:10a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Darrius Heyward-Bey appears to be in good shape for a roster spot, as the team will likely keep six receivers on the 53-man roster. WRs Antonio [ More ]

Cam NewtonAug 28 12:53a

Updating a previous report, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (ribs) said Wednesday, Aug. 27, that he will be ready for the regular season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group