On Friday, the Cincinnati Bengals waived wide receiver Jordan Shipley.
Plagued by a knee injury for half of his short NFL career, the veteran receiver could be an option for the Minnesota Vikings as they scour the waiver wires for help in the passing game. But is his lingering health issue worth the risk?
Coming off of ACL surgery, Shipley has been slow to recover from the injury that prematurely ended his 2011 campaign. Still, when healthy, the 6’0’’, 189-pound receiver is capable of making a noticeable impact in the passing game.
During his rookie 2010 season, Shipley contributed 52 catches for 614 and three touchdowns for the Bengals. He averaged 11.5 yards per catch while playing in 15 game, including four starts.
So far this offseason, the Vikings have had some issues at the wide receiver spot.
An injury ended the season of promising rookie Greg Childs. Veteran Michael Jenkins has been slowed by age/injuries and already had to take a pay cut just to stay with the team. Free agent acquisition Jerome Simpson has looked good, but is suspended for the first three games of the regular season.
The rest of the available options at wide receiver are young and inexperienced, which could force the Vikings to kick the tires of a player like Shipley.
If the Vikings believe that Shipley can contribute at some point this season, they might be tempted into bringing him aboard. He proved in 2010 that he could be a difference-maker, but needs to stay healthy if he wants to stay relevant in the NFL.
The Vikings would have priority over 29 teams if they made a claim for Shipley, so we’ll see soon enough if they feel that the risk is worth the reward.