You know it’s bad when a player catches three passes for 17 yards, and you’re happy. That’s how I felt when John Carlson finally showed up in the Minnesota Vikings victory over the St. Louis Rams last Sunday.
It only took 14 weeks, but the Vikings ‘key’ free agent signing finally caught more than one pass in a game. His three receptions Sunday bring his season total to eight (43 yards).
So it’s not exactly what you’d think $25 million dollars would buy a team, but I’m not ready to give up on Carlson quite yet either.
Given the amount of money he’s scheduled to make, I believe Carlson should at least get one more year in Minnesota. He did show small glimpses Sunday of the player he can be. Sure it was only 17 yards, but when he made those receptions, it made me take notice. At first I thought to myself, who was that?
When I realized it was Carlson, I then could finally see why the Vikings signed him to a five-year deal. The guy looks extremely talented out there. He has the mix of size and speed that NFL tight ends should possess in today’s game. On paper he easily fills in as a No. 2 TE behind Kyle Rudolph, but on the field it just hasn’t happened.
Injuries are no doubt to blame for Carlson’s slow start, but he’s been healthy for several weeks now. I’ve been disappointed the Vikings haven’t done a better job of getting him involved in the offense, especially with the lack of talent at wide receiver.
I really hope Bill Musgrave plans to keep utilizing Carlson in the final two games, because having two tight ends that can consistently produce would make a huge difference in the passing game.
Fans shouldn’t expect a whole lot of production from Carlson in the final few games, but realistically he might be able to double his season’s production. It would at least be a step in the right direction…
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