The Minnesota Vikings have started off the 2013 NFL Season with two losses and ranking near the bottom of the league when it comes to their passing offense. Having Cordarrelle Patterson on the team and limiting his snaps seems to be a luxury they can’t afford anymore.
The rookie coming out of Tennessee was the Vikings’ first round draft pick (29th overall), so you would’ve expected them to be a bit more aggressive in bringing him into the fold instead of being sheepish about using him in more than a few selected snaps.
Christian Ponder needs all the help he can get – the Vikings are 20th in the NFL in passing yards per game, and their passer rating so far is ranked 28th in the league. Without Percy Harvin (traded to Seattle), Ponder doesn’t have a reliable target to bail him out, with not a lot of talent existing beyond Jermoe Simpson (9 catches, 183 yards) and Greg Jennings (8 catches, 117 yards). The Vikings only have two passing touchdowns so far, and one of them is to Adrian Peterson.
Patterson so only a total of 11 snaps in the first two games, leading up to three receptions on the three times Ponder was looking for him, resulting in 24 yards. With the Vikings getting desperate to win a game, there’s a good chance Leslie Frazier starts using Patterson a whole lot more. He has been involved in the returning game, returning five kicks for 203 yards, including once for a touchdown.
He definitely deserves to be on the field more. He’s shown that in the first few snaps he’s gotten in these first two ballgames. Hopefully, everything being equal, that should be a part of the conversation week. We want to get him on the field. He’s one of our explosive players for sure. We’ve got to find a way to get him on the field. We’re well aware of his talents.
The most likely scenario won’t be Patterson suddenly becoming a major player right away for the Vikings, but seeing his role and snaps increasing as the weeks go by. If the Vikings do fall out of playoff contention very early, there’s a good chance he’ll feature a lot more than originally intended, getting him ready for next season.