2015 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

Richard RodgersJul 1 05:03p

Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers could see more playing time in 2015, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Rodgers played 528 snaps, while fellow TE Andrew Quarless played [ More ]

Rob HouslerJun 30 03:13p

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge, Rob Housler and Jim Dray could all end up taking over for TE Jordan Cameron, who is now with the Miami Dolphins. Head coach [ More ]

Sam BradfordJun 29 05:22p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to be in the final phase of his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament once training camp begins. Bradford's second [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJun 29 02:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson appears to have everything it takes to produce in the NFL, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. 'He's got great work ethic, and [ More ]

C.J. SpillerJun 28 09:02p

New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller has a perfect skill-set for head coach Sean Payton's system, which relies on getting the ball to players in space, according Chris Wesseling [ More ]

Tony MoeakiJun 25 07:12p

Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Moeaki will compete with TE Jacob Tamme for the Falcons' starting tight end job during training camp. QB Matt Ryan praised both tight ends for [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJun 25 03:52p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's reported weight gain this offseason is being overblown, according to general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman expects Benjamin to be ready to go for training [ More ]

Antoine CasonJun 25 03:03a

Free-agent CB Antoine Cason (foot) will miss the 2015 season due to surgery he underwent on Tuesday, June 23. Cason (Ravens) did not specify what type of surgery he [ More ]

Marvin JonesJun 24 09:13p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (ankle, foot) did not play in 2014 due to multiple foot and ankle issues, but he is healthy and was impressive in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

Keith WenningJun 24 02:43p

Free-agent QB Keith Wenning (Ravens) signed with the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday, June 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Pierre GarconJun 24 02:23p

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon could be featured more often in the passing game this season based on the offseason workouts. Garcon often lined up to the right of [ More ]

Martavis BryantJun 24 01:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers WRs Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant are expected to compete for the No. 2 wide receiver job during training camp. Both players performed well during offseason workouts.

Peyton ManningJun 24 11:53a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning was the subject of preliminary trade discussions with the Houston Texans, according to a source. The talks occurred before Manning restructured his deal and [ More ]

Rueben RandleJun 24 10:53a

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle was the best receiver on the field by a wide margin during spring practices, in the opinion of beat writer Jordan Ranaan. Randle [ More ]

Chris IvoryJun 24 10:43a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is listed as the starting running back entering training camp, according to beat writer Rich Cimini's unofficial depth chart. RB Bilal Powell is [ More ]

Devonta FreemanJun 23 10:22a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman enters training camp ahead of RB Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

Joseph RandleJun 23 10:02a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle appears to be the clear leader at running back, and it's his job to lose in training camp.

Ahmad BradshawJun 22 11:32p

Free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts) has been suspended one game for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. If he signs with a team he must sit out for the first week.

Terrelle PryorJun 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrelle Pryor was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns Monday, June 22, according to a source.

Fred DavisJun 19 06:02p

New England Patriots TE Fred Davis was released Friday, June 19.

Dennis PittaJun 19 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was not medically cleared to practice in minicamp as he continues to recover from his second dislocated and fractured hip in as many [ More ]

Isaiah CrowellJun 19 01:22p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell could be the workhorse back if his ball security improves, according to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Devonta FreemanJun 19 01:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman will be used in a lot of different ways, including as a receiver, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'I knew Devonta had terrific [ More ]

Chris OgbonnayaJun 19 11:32a

Free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Giants) announced his retirement Friday, June 19.

John MoffittJun 18 11:02p

Free-agent OG John Moffitt unretired Wednesday, June 17, and cleared waivers Thursday, June 18. He is free to sign with a team of his choosing. The Philadelphia Eagles, Miami [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 09:32p

Free-agent QB Terrelle Pryor is going to give it a shot at playing wide receiver in the NFL. Some teams have already expressed an interest.

Allen RobinsonJun 18 09:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson was described as 'unbelievable' by QB Blake Bortles Thursday, June 18. 'He's definitely a threat now in the red zone. ... He's physical. He [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 05:32p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Terrelle Pryor was waived Thursday, June 18.

Taylor ThompsonJun 18 05:32p

Tennesse Titans TE Taylor Thompson was waived Thursday, June 18.

Matthew MulliganJun 18 04:32p

Free-agent TE Matthew Mulligan (Titans) signed an undisclosed contract with the Buffalo Bills Thursday, June 18.

Carlton MitchellJun 18 04:22p

Free-agent WR Carlton Mitchell (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, June 18. WR Shane Wynn was waived.

Daniel ThomasJun 18 04:12p

Free-agent RB Daniel Thomas (Dolphins) signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears Thursday, June 18. Financial terms were not disclosed.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group