Aug 25, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins (4) is called for unsportsmanlike conduct against Minnesota Vikings linebacker Desmond Bishop (59) after making a catch during the fourth quarter at Candlestick Park. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 34-14. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Desmond Bishop Impressing During Preseason

When new Vikings Linebacker Desmond Bishop stepped on the field for the Vikings for the first time, it was during the team’s second preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.  As a fan watching the game, I felt that Bishop was slower than usual and out of place.  I went as far as to begin questioning whether or not he had fully healed from his injuries that led him to be released by the Green Bay Packers.

Aug 16, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Desmond Bishop (59) on the sideline during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Vikings 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Then came game 3  against the San Francisco 49ers.  Bishop looked like a totally different player.  He showed speed and athleticism while amassing 9 tackles in the game.  I started to wonder if my previous evaluation of Bishop’s condition was incorrect.

The last chance Bishop got to prove himself was in the Vikings final preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.  He continued to look like the player from the 49ers game and made me eat crow.  He got 5 solo tackles and 2 assists in limited play.

Now, two games removed from nearly writing him off, I firmly believe that he will be starting at Outside Linebacker for the Vikings in week 1.  Working alongside perennial workhorse Chad Greenway and rising star Erin Henderson, Bishop can really help solidify this Vikings Linebacker grouping.

He will still face competition at the position from guys like 4th round draft pick  Gerald Hodges, but for now the Minnesota Vikings should be happy to have a healthy, determined Bishop at their disposal.

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